A good business model is a story that explains how an enterprise is designed to work (Margretta 2002). A business model identifies sources of competitive advantage and describes the firm’s pathway to profitability and success. From a marketing perspective, the business model describes customers and what they value. From a managerial perspective, the business model describes how an organization makes profit. See Figure 13.3.
In this section, we review some emerging models in the music industry, in order to illustrate how such models can serve as a source of innovation. That is, a traditional way for organizations to remain profitable is to introduce a series of related goods. As shown earlier in Figure 13.1, the organization introduces eight products (labeled A through H). Over time, the sales for product A begin to decline, so the organization is under considerable pressure to introduce new successful products. If Figure 13.1 represents the cumulative sales for a record label, then product A might be a hip-hop CD, while product B is a CD created by a rock artist. In this section of the chapter, we present an alternative source of innovation—the innovation that results from successfully introducing new business models. All our examples are derived from the music industry, but related industries (e.g. films, books) are undergoing similar transformations and creating similar opportunities for entrepreneurs.