Poplive at Vienna Music Business Research Days 2019

September 16th, 2019

How do risk and trust impact the work of businesses in the Dutch live industry? That was the subject of Poplive’s contribution to the 10th Vienna Music Business Research Days (VMBRD), from September 11 till 14 at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Austria’s capital. Poplive researchers Erik Hitters and Martijn Mulder presented their paper at the conference track day, among over 15 other music business scholars from all over the world.

Poplive’s contribution focused on the questions (1) how directors of pop music venues and festivals perceive risk and uncertainty in staging popular music in the Netherlands and (2) which strategies they employ to deal with these uncertainties and how these are embedded in institutionalized networks of cooperation and trust. Starting from a theoretical perspective Erik Hitters presented Beck’s idea of a Risk Society and applied this idea to the cultural industries. He also explained several strategies of trust and the specific importance of Giddens’ idea of active trust for the music industry. Thereafter Martijn Mulder connected this theoretical framework to an empirical study on the Dutch live music industry. This study gives proof that the live music industry can be described as a highly unstable and volatile environment: risk is an integral part of the live music industry. Risk occurs both internal and external and plays a role in almost every element in the business model of stagers of live music. These stagers try to stabilize these risks by reliance on long established relationships, (often very) informal networks of trust, unwritten rules and norms and even just on friendships. This active trust is maintained in dense networks and “emotive” relationships, performed at specific places.

The theme of the 10th Music Business Research Days in Vienna was ‘the future of the music business’. Most contributions both on the scientific conference day and on the invited business conference day focused on music streaming and its effects on copyrights, contracts, labels and music consumption. The contributions on the future of the industry aimed to map the music industry after the streaming era. Yet, most contributions made clear that music streaming will continue to grow in the near future.

The 11th edition of the conference will take place in Vienna in September 2020 and will focus on emerging music markets like eastern Europe and Asia. In 2021 Poplive will host the Music Business Research Days in Rotterdam.

For more information about VMBRD click here.