Summit 2016
April 1-2, Washington DC

Session 11: Saturday 3:15
Moderator: Wesley Bulla

Jerry Brindisi
Assistant Professor, Music Business BA Coordinator
Columbia College Chicago

Justin Sinkovich
Assistant Professor, Media Management BA Coordinator
Columbia College Chicago

The Music Business Workshop:  Applying Game Theory to Pedagogy

New technology and the rapid convergence of entertainment related disciplines requires that students are equipped with a strong knowledge base in their field as well as the ability to be adaptable to rapidly changing environments. Students must be prepared to think entrepreneurially, adapt to teams, show leadership skills, and take strategic initiative to launch and maintain careers in entertainment related fields. Simulation experiences applied to related management programs can provide students with opportunities that tie multiple components of management curricula together as building blocks for practical experience that are guided by faculty and allow students to navigate real world scenarios and dilemmas in controlled environments on campus.

This paper presentation explores gaming pedagogy where students are motivated by the documented mechanics that foster leadership and creativity through game theory. These mechanics include the implementation of a points system, leaderboards, earned badges and statuses, and more. This session will also outline the psychology behind the success of gaming pedagogy.

As an example of how to implement game mechanics and industry simulations, the session will provide an overview of a course the co-presenters have developed and taught over the past several years. The Music Industry Immersion is a one-week intensive, multi-course collaboration. An introduction to this experience will be presented in addition to learning outcomes for this type of course format, the benefits for student and challenges for faculty engaging in this type of learning experience.

This presentation will be of interest to music and entertainment instructors and program directors looking to incorporate “real-world” examples, spontaneous challenges to students, and motivation gaming techniques.

Carey Christensen
Assistant Professor, Mike Curb Chair in Music Industry Studies
California State University, Northridge

Armen Shaomian
Assistant Professor, Sport and Entertainment Management
University of South Carolina

GrouponLive: A Case Study

In 2010, North American concert ticket sales dropped for the first time since 1995, falling 8% to $4.25 billion, according to Pollstar. In response, Live Nation and Groupon boldly announced in 2011 a joint venture called GrouponLive, which offered aggressively discounted Live Nation tickets to Groupon customers in order drive sales and expand the concert-going audience beyond the “super fan”. Since its inception, numerous artists ranging from classic rock acts such as The Who, Van Halen, and Motley Crue, to more contemporary urban acts such as Janet Jackson, Babyface, and Snoop Dog have all offered tickets through GrouponLive. By 2015, North American concert ticket sales set new records and climbed to $6.9 billion, a 62% increase from 2010. Though this increase in concert revenues is mainly attributed to the proliferation of large multi-day music festivals and the continued escalation of average ticket prices, value partners such as GrouponLive have become an increasingly important sales channel for the concert industry at-large in their on-going effort to move unsold tickets and reach a larger “casual fan” customer segment. Despite this trend towards value partners however, there are promoters and artist alike who continue to harbor concerns over the effect these discounters may be having on their relationships with existing fans and their perceived brand equity.

Intended as a teaching case for upper-division undergraduate music business students, this case study provides opportunities to 1) analyze the points of synergy and points of conflict between the business objectives of GrouponLive and the artist, concert promoter, and/or venue, and 2) examine the potential effects the use of GrouponLive may have on concert promoter’s and/or artist’s brand equity.