Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Music Research Seminar: James Roberts

Corporate capabilities and the challenges of digitisation: lessons from the popular music and broadcasting sectors

This week’s research seminar in Lecture Theatre 1 of the School of Music will take place at 4.30pm on Thursday 6th November.

The speaker is Dr James Roberts (Leeds University Business School)



The talk will explore the varied responses of broadcasters and major music companies to the digitisation of content and distribution networks over the last 20 years. I’ll  suggest that in general broadcasters have been more successful in addressing the threats and opportunities of digitisation than major music companies, despite the fact that in both cases their dominance in the pre-networked environment resulted from similar resources and capabilities, those in large scale distribution and marketing.

Capability theory (which we will briefly mention) highlights a number of key qualities that differentiate the two sets of incumbents, particularly in how they organised to sense and interpret changes in the environment, assessed opportunities and threats and in their ability to rapidly re-configure assets. It also highlights critical capabilities for such companies as digitisation continues to affect how consumers access and use digital content, the viability of existing and new business models, and the relationships between firms and their suppliers.

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