IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jculte/v40y2016i1p29-74.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Breaking up is hard to do: the resilience of the rock group as an organizational form for creating music

Author

Listed:
  • Ronnie Phillips

    ()

  • Ian Strachan

    ()

Abstract

Though there is a long tradition of band members quitting the group or taking a hiatus, the rock group as an organization to produce music continues to be both popular and economically viable. The research question addressed in this paper is whether or not it is a good idea to quit or take a hiatus from the group. We begin with a discussion of the framework for understanding why groups are formed and why they may be difficult to keep together. We then discuss differences between groups in the decade of the 1960s versus today. We argue that there is something unique about the output of the group even with the changes in the structure of contracts, compensation, and consumer focus on the artist that explain the resilience of the rock band as an organizational form within which to create music. We compare the charting success of bands that have members leave the group with the charting success of the members who left the group. We identified the groups in five representative years: 1965, 1975, 1985, 1995, and 2005. We then analyzed the entire Billboard Hot 100 charting careers of those groups and the artists who quit those groups. Our main finding is that when charting success is divided equally among members, going solo pays off—there is a clear economic rationale because solo acts have greater average charting success than the original bands they started in. The other ensuing side projects: duos, collaborations, and other groups are not as lucrative as the original bands. These findings are valid for members of charting groups from each of the 5 years examined. Despite the difficulties in keeping a rock band together, there are fewer band breakups today and remaining with the group generally results in a longer and more productive charting career. Thus, the rock group remains an important organization for producing contemporary music. However, there remains a compelling incentive to go solo. Superstars may benefit from solo projects, but for the average, non-superstar group member, in many circumstances it is better for the band to stay together if the income is divided equally. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Ronnie Phillips & Ian Strachan, 2016. "Breaking up is hard to do: the resilience of the rock group as an organizational form for creating music," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 29-74, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:40:y:2016:i:1:p:29-74
    DOI: 10.1007/s10824-014-9226-1
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10824-014-9226-1
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cellini, Roberto & Cuccia, Tiziana, 2018. "Do behaviours in cultural markets affect economic resilience? An analysis of the Italian regions," MPRA Paper 83904, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Samuel Cameron, 2016. "Past, present and future: music economics at the crossroads," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 40(1), pages 1-12, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Music industry; Entrepreneurship; Theory of the firm; L26; Z1;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jculte:v:40:y:2016:i:1:p:29-74. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.