Journal of Cultural Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 287–307 | Cite as

“Let’s make lots of money”: the determinants of performance in the recorded music sector

  • Juan D. Montoro-Pons
  • Manuel Cuadrado-García
Original Article


This research analyzes the performance of 467 record labels in eight European countries over a period of 13 years (2003–2015). The main goal is to explain a relative measure of profitability in terms of observed variables, although the nature of the dataset also allows us to include non-observed firm and country effects. To this end alternative models are estimated and three main research questions are tested, namely: (1) the effect of the dual structure of the recorded music market, in which a competitive segment and an oligopoly coexist; (2) the extent and source of the volatility of profits in record labels; and (3) the nonlinear impact of size on performance.


Independent record labels Major record labels Panel data modeling Hierarchical modeling Return on assets Determinants of profitability Cultural industries 



The authors would like to thank two anonymous referees for their helpful suggestions. Juan D. Montoro-Pons would also like to thank Peter Tschmuck and participants at the 5th Vienna Music Business Research Days for comments and discussion on a preliminary version of the paper. Usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan D. Montoro-Pons
    • 1
  • Manuel Cuadrado-García
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Economía AplicadaUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Comercialización e Investigación de MercadosUniversitat de ValènciaValenciaSpain

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