Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Marketing

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  4 credits SECS-P/08  |  2 credits SECS-P/12)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Mission & Content Summary


Markets for creative goods (e.g., movies, music, games) are characterized by a specific complex structure and peculiar working mechanisms. From an economic standpoint, they work as two-sided markets, in which the majority of players often serve two types of customers: a consumer base that consumes the creative output, and business clients that use the creative markets to promote their products. The complexity of this model lies in the fact that the two sides of the market are interdependent, and that the advent of digital technologies multiplied the sources of this interdependence. Music industry is the epitome of the two-sided market model: traditional gatekeepers such as labels or radio broadcasters target consumers of music but also serve brands that want to sponsor music content to reach their audience; streaming platforms provide curated consumption experiences but also host advertising content to support their freemium models; new digital platforms (Tik Tok, Twitch) generate viral content to consumers but also represent powerful social contagion channels for promotional activities. The course aims to explain the principles of the two-sided market model and provide the students with their application in the context of the music industry. At the end of the course, students will be equipped with novel managerial skills to navigate these complex market settings.


The course will start by outlining the working mechanisms of the two-sided market models and then provide a throrough analysis of such mechanisms in the context of the music industry.


1 - Two-sided markets: principles and mechanisms

2 - Music industry as a prototypical two-sided market

3 - Hedonic quality and social contagion in music consumption

4 - Short vs. long term success in the music market

5 - Brand promotion and targeting through music

6 - Music as a channel/tool (vs. content): breaking sectorial boundaries


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...


  • Conceptually illustrate and analyze a two-sided market model
  • Empirically recognize and identify the two-sided market principles in the context of the music industry
  • Practically apply the two-sided market principles to take stragegic decision making in the music industry (and other similar creative industries)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify and understand the working principles of a two-sided market model
  • Learn how the music industry operates on the basis of the two-sided market principles
  • Properly handle the key managerial issues for music players, associated to the two-sided market principles

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


In addition to face-to-face lecturers, this course includes:

- Guest lectures: managers working in music and other creative industries operating as two-sided markets will be invited to share with the students their concrete experience on the topic of the course, to help students' sensemaking;

- Case studies on companies operating in the two-sided music market will be discussed to appreciate the intricacies of the two-sided market model and the managerial tools learned in the course;

- Case-group assignments: students will gather in groups since the beginning of the course, and engage in a real analysis of a two-sided market critical issue, that they have to address and present its solution to the class

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


The written exam has the purpose of checking the conceptual and analytical learning of the students.

The group assignment has the purpose to assess the implementation skills and the presentation capabilities of the students

Teaching materials


  • Foutz N.Z. (2017). Entertainment Marketing, Foundations and Trends® in Marketing, 10(4), 215-333.
  • Rentfrow P. J., Gosling S.D. (2006), Message in a Ballad: The Role of Music Preferences in Interpersonal Perception, Psychological Science, 17(3), 236–242.
  • Bonneville-Roussy A., Rentfrow P. J., Xu M.K., Potter J. (2013), Music Through the Ages: Trends in Musical Engagement and Preferences from Adolescence Through Middle Adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1-13.
  • Salganik M.J., Dodds P.S., Watts D.J. (2006), Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Network. Science 311:854-856.
  • Berger, J. (2008), Identity-signaling, social influence, and social contagion. In M. J. Prinstein & K. A. Dodge (Eds.), Understanding peer influence in children and adolescents. New York: Guilford.  
  • Saloner, Shepard, and Podolny (2001). External Context Analysis: Industry Analysis, Chapter 6, Strategic Management, Wiley 
  • Ordanini A., Parasuraman A. (2012), A Conceptual Framework for Analyzing Value-Creating Service Ecosystems: An Application to the Recorded-Music Market. Review of Marketing Research, 9, 171-205.
  • Giesler M., (2008). Conflict and Compromise: Drama in Marketplace Evolution. Journal of Consumer Research, 34 (2), 739‐753.
  • Edlom J. & Karlsson J. (2021). Hang with Me—Exploring Fandom, Brandom, and the Experiences and Motivations for Value Co-Creation in a Music Fan Community, International Journal of Music Business Research, 10 (1), 17-31.
  • Olenski S. (2014), Why Music Plays a Big Role When It Comes to Branding, Forbes, Feb 6th.
  • Cochrane L. (2022), I’m with the brand! How merch saved the music industry, The Guardian, Oct 22nd
  • Sisario B. (2022), Gaming Giant Behind Fortnite Buys Bandcamp, an Indie Music Haven, The New York Times, March 2nd
  • Valsesia F., Nunes J.C., Ordanini A. (2016), What wins awards is not always what I buy. How creative control affects authenticity and thus recognition (but not liking), Journal of Consumer Research, 42(6), 897-914.
  • McKelvey F. & Hunt R. (2019), Discoverability: Toward a Definition of Content Discovery Through Platforms, Social Media + Society, Jan-Mar, 1-15.
  • van der Hoeven A., Behr A., Hamilton C., Mulder M. and Rozbicka P. (2021), 1-2-3-4! Measuring the values of live music: methods, models and motivations, Arts and the Market, 11(2), 147-166.
  • Meyn J., Kandziora M., Albers S., Clement M. (2023), Consequences of platforms' remuneration models for digital content: initial evidence and a research agenda for streaming services, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 51, 114–131.
  • Forde E. (2022), Eyes On The Price: Putting A Value On The Great Music Catalogue Bonanza, Forbes, Apr 1st
  • Dasovich-Wilson J.N., Thompson M., Saarikallio S. (2022), Exploring Music Video Experiences and Their Influence on Music Perception, Music Science, 5, 1-18.
  • Bach L., Rémy G., Schenk E., (2022). Blockchain and NFT technologies: the Future of the Music Industry? CNMlab, December 
  • Seabrook J. (2022), So You Want to Be a TikTok Star, New Yorker, Dec 12th.
  • Herrman J. (2022), The Viral Spiral, The New York Times, June 22nd


Last change 13/12/2023 13:51