12th International Music Business Research Days

Staging popular music: sustainable music ecologies for artists, industries and cities

Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 3-4-5 November 2021


This conference focuses on the intersection between key transformations in the popular music industries. Music represents and generates value on various levels from the individual to the global, and in many different spheres from the cultural and social to the economic and political. Popular music is staged through multiple platforms, actors, businesses, intermediaries and policies. The current COVID-19-crisis both challenges the music industries and acts as a catalyst of new digital innovations. This is a vital moment to (re)consider the future directions of the music industries. While the music industries are characterized by continuous change and transformation, significant disruptions have always impacted its resilience. Such disruptions can be external shocks, including the current crisis, new technologies, political change or aesthetic-cultural innovations. From an ecological perspective, all transformations force the industry to reshape and rethink itself. This will likely result in both positive as negative consequences. We need to critically reflect on what the immediate and long-term future of music ecologies entails, who benefits and who suffers from such disruptions.

Focusing on a select number of interrelated themes, this conference aims to bring together scholars and professionals from various countries and disciplines. Participants bring their own perspective to the stage in an international exchange of ideas and current research insights about the contemporary music industries.


The Music Business Research Days offer an interdisciplinary forum at the intersection of economic, artistic, cultural, social, legal, technological and further developments which contribute to the creation/production, dissemination/ distribution and reception/consumption of music. This interdisciplinary nature calls for methodological multiplicity and is open to scholars from all scientific areas. We invite submission of papers on – but not strictly limited to – the themes and example questions below:







To confirm your participation, we would like to invite you to register and pay before 1 October 2021. Click here to complete the registration in Easychair.

The payment will need to be done separately by clicking on one of the following registration types:



The conference is organized by the POPLIVE research team and supported by IMBRA, the International Music Business Research Association. It is hosted by ERMeCC, the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture in cooperation with Creating010. For more information, please contact: imbrd2021@gmail.com.





Jennifer Lena (Columbia University) – Jennifer C. Lena is an Associate Professor of Arts Administration at Teachers College, Columbia University and has a courtesy appointment in the Department of Sociology. She is co-editor of the journal Poetics, and co-editor (with Frederick Wherry) of a book series, Culture and Economic Life, published by Stanford University Press. She is the author of three books: Banding Together: How Communities Create Genres in Popular Music (Princeton University Press, 2012); Entitled: Discriminating Tastes and the Expansion of the Arts (Princeton University Press, 2019); and Measuring Culture (Columbia University Press, 2020).

Brian Hracs (University of Southampton) – Dr. Brian J. Hracs is an Associate Professor in Human Geography. He is interested in the iterative relationship between markets, technology and space. His work has been published – amongst others – in Environment and Planning A, Geoforum and Regional Studies. With colleagues, he is working on an edited volume The production and consumption of music in the digital age (Routledge).