1-2-3-4! Measuring the values of live music: methods, models and motivations

Arno van der Hoeven*, Martijn Mulder, Adam Behr, Craig Hamilton, Patrycja Rozbicka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper sets out to compare different methodologies for measuring the value(s) of live popular music, and to explore the different motivations amongst a range of organisations engaged in that work.
We analyse how the values of live music are measured, who does it and why. Based on this analysis we present a model that visualizes the myriad of organisations, methods, aims and objectives involved.
We identify three approaches to measuring the impact of live music (economic impact studies, mapping and censuses, and social sciences and humanities) and three types of actors (industry, policy and academia). The analysis of these demonstrates that measuring live music is not a neutral activity, but itself constructs a vision on how live music ecologies function.
While the number of studies measuring live music’s impact is growing, theoretical and methodological reflection on these activities is missing. We compare the different methodologies by discussing strengths and weaknesses. This results in a model that identifies gaps in existing studies and explores new directions for future live music research. It enhances understanding of how different ways of measuring live music affect policymaking and conceptions of what live music is and should be.
Practical implications
For cultural organisations, demonstrating the outcomes of their work is important in acquiring various forms of support. The model presented in this paper helps them to select adequate methodologies and to reflect on the consequences of particular approaches to measuring live music activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-166
JournalArts and the Market
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

© Arno van der Hoeven, Adam Behr, Craig Hamilton, Martijn Mulder and Patrycja Rozbicka. Published
by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC
BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article
(for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication
and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/

Funding: This work was supported as part of the project Staging Popular Music: Researching Sustainable
Live Music Ecologies for Artists, Music Venues and Cities (POPLIVE) established by the Dutch
Research Council (NWO) and the Taskforce for Applied Research (NRPO-SIA) [grant number 314-99-
202, research programme Smart Culture - Arts and Culture]. Partners in this project are Mojo Concerts
and the Association of Dutch Pop Music Venues and Festivals (VNPF). The work was also supported by
the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC), which is led by Nesta and funded by the Arts
and Humanities Research Council UK.


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