Principles Of Management-Planning-Case Study Music

Welcome to our free case collections. As part of The Case Centre’s commitment to promoting the case method and supporting case teachers, we offer a growing range of free cases produced by a number of prominent schools and organisations across the globe.

You must be registered and logged in to our website to access free cases. Once logged in you can use the 'show only items in the free case collection' tick box on our product search to search all free cases.

Amity Research Centers has selected ten cases from its health and medical care collection to be available free via The Case Centre. Amity Research Centers feels there is a dearth of expertise in health and medical care and that knowledge of developments and initiatives in healthcare is limited. It makes a deliberate effort to write cases about healthcare management in various organisations and for public health policy makers.
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Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG) teaching cases are all set in the public sector – topics ranging from public value to risk management and regulation – with most recounting events from the past five to ten years. The collection comprises nearly 200 cases, with a selection available for free from The Case Centre.
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Building on its entrepreneurial legacy to advance entrepreneurial thought and action for the world, Babson College partnered with Banco de Chile to immerse twenty faculty members from ten Chilean universities into the rigorous art of entrepreneurship case writing and teaching. The project has produced eleven Chilean entrepreneurship cases, each with an English and Spanish version. 
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These free cases from the Australian College of the Arts (Collarts) are aimed at students studying music organisations in arts management or music business programmes. They are written by eminent music insiders, including Paul Saintilan, Dean of Collarts, previously at EMI Music and Universal Music; Rob Cannon of the Australian Institute of Music who has also held international record company roles; and Michael Smellie, a former Chief Operating Officer at Sony BMG. 
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Copenhagen Business School

This collection of free cases is part of Copenhagen Business School’s commitment to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME). All the cases focus on aspects of responsible management, including social responsibility, anti-corruption and sustainability. The cases address a number of interdisciplinary subjects making them suitable for a wide range of courses in business schools and universities. New free cases will be added regularly.
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Developed as part of a project co-financed by the Directorate General Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission, this free case collection includes 18 innovative teaching cases on technology entrepreneurship. The cases all have accompanying teaching notes and many have media support items. 
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Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University

Few resources on the delivery of health services and health technologies in low-resource settings currently exist for educators. The Global Health Delivery Project at Harvard University has begun to fill this gap with a series of teaching cases and accompanying teaching notes examining principles of healthcare delivery in low-resource settings that are freely available for download and distribution.
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IMD's collection of free cases includes a case series on the KasKazi Network that deals with the distribution of fast-moving consumer goods to low-income areas in Kenya. The collection also includes eleven 'climate saver' cases that showcase corporate best practices in carbon-saving products and processes and feature companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Lafarge, Novo Nordisk, Nokia Siemens Networks and Tetra Pak, among others. The cases were featured at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference thanks to IMD's collaboration with the WWF's Climate Savers. 
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Medical Peace Work

This collection of 12 free teaching cases was developed by Medical Peace Work, a partnership of medical organisations and teaching institutions committed to the development of expertise in health work, violence prevention and peace building. The cases depict challenging situations for health professionals who are looking for ways to prevent and reduce violence and other forms of power abuse, and to build trust, understanding, mutually enriching structures and a culture of peace.
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MIT Sloan's LearningEdge

In early 2009, the MIT Sloan School of Management began free distribution of select teaching materials created by faculty and students at the school. The collection, available on LearningEdge, covers a wide array of companies and organisations, industries, and geographies, and focuses on a number of business disciplines. 
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Stanford Graduate School of Business

Stanford Graduate School of Business has produced a large number of free cases covering subjects such as e-commerce, entrepreneurship, international business, marketing, operations information & technology, political economics and strategic management.  
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The Case Centre

We have partnered with a group of leading business schools to provide this collection of free cases on topical issues. Currently 10 free cases are available covering a wide variety of subject categories and topics. 
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The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Legatum Center case studies illuminate the thought processes of entrepreneurs, the challenges they face, and the solutions they devise as they develop their businesses. These cases are available without charge to help teachers, students, and aspiring entrepreneurs. At the same time, they may demonstrate to academics and governments the value of entrepreneurial activities in low-income countries.  
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How Spotify built a $5 billion business with more than 50 million subscribers

Spotify is a streaming music service originally developed in 2006 in Sweden and launching in 2008. Spotify Ltd. now operates as the parent company in London while Spotify AB manages research and development in Stockholm.

This case study about the online music subscription service illustrates how different elements of the mix can be varied online. It also highlights success factors for developing an online marketing strategy. We've included it on Smart Insights for readers of Dave Chaffey's books before the next edition is publishes - it replaces an earlier case study

In early 2015, Spotify was valued at more than $5 billion. Investments in the growth of the company have been $1/2 billion in seven rounds of funding from 17 investors. It is currently rumoured to be about to rerevceive an additional 500 million in funding in preparation for an IPO.

Spotify in the context of other online music providers

Spotify was not the first online entrant to online music services, but it was an innovator in marketing approaches, technology and subscription options that have enabled it to become a market leader in music subscription.

The first major entrant was in 1999 through Napster which we have featured in previous editions in this chapter. Its initial incarnation was as the first widely used service for ‘free’ peer-to-peer (P2P) music sharing. The record companies mounted a legal challenge to Napster due to lost revenues on music sales which eventually forced it to close. But the Napster brand was purchased and its second incarnation still offers a legal music although following bankruptcy in 2008, it has had several owners such as Roxio and Best Buy. Napster now focus on the music subscription service as part of the Rhapsody music services in direct competition to Spotify.

Revenue model and value proposition

Spotify operates a freemium model with the majority of its users streaming music to their mobiles or desktop via apps or web browsers. Users subscribe for free get ads between tracks which are part of the Spotify revenue model. Users of the free service encounter audio ads every five or six songs, or approximately three minutes of advertising for every hour of listening.

Since many users enjoyed the unlimited free music option, Spotify moved to limit this in April 2011, when they announced that audio streaming would be limited to ten hours per month after an initial unlimited listening period of 6 months. This restriction was removed in 2014.

Spotify Premium users who pay a fixed monthly fee get additional features (Figure 5.11) including offline listening and no ads.

The Wikipedia entry for Spotify has charted the growth of Spotify:

  • In November 2011, more than 2.5 million paying subscribers signed up to its service. This followed 500,000 premium users signing up since its partnership with Facebook’s “Open Graph”, which allows people to share the tracks they were listening to with friends. It also launched in the United States in 2011.
  • In August 2012, there were four million paying Spotify subscribers responsible for at least €20 million per month in revenue.
  • By March 2013, Spotify had grown to six million paying customers globally (a figure that remained in December 2013) and 24 million total active users.
  • By May 2014, Spotify had grown to ten million paying customers and 30 million free users.
  • By January 2015, Spotify had grown to 15 million paying customers and 45 million free users.

Through licensing the service to other businesses there are further opportunities for revenue. For example, in January 2015, Playstation announced that Spotify would power their new music service called Playstation Music.

How does Spotify's licensing service work with Playstation?

The company pays roughly 70 percent of its revenue for royalties to artists and companies that hold the rights to the music. Spotify pays artists and labels per streamed track, with the Spotify artists page explaining that there is an average an average “per stream” payout to rights holders of between $0.006 and $0.0084. Artists have questioned the value that Spotify returns with some major global artists such as Taylor Swift and AC/DC withdrawing some, or all of their music from the platform.

However, for many others it provides a way to reach new audiences through recommendations and playlists and gain royalties from listeners who they would previously have not received any revenue from. Spotify makes the case that is aims to regenerate lost value by converting music fans from these poorly monetized formats (e.g. illegal download services) to the paid streaming format, which produces far more value per listener.

Value proposition

In addition to the core music listening service Spotify has developed other features to add to the value of the service which have also given opportunities to spread awareness of the site through co-marketing.

Spotify claims that it’s users are highly engaged with the average multiplatform user spending 146 min a day using the service. Between 2013 and 2014 the share of users listening on mobile tripled although more than 50 percent of sessions are still on desktop.


Spotify has developed a range of innovative advertising formats to build its revenue, mainly from its free subscribers. These formats are described as:

  • Audio Ad - A cross-platform, unavoidable format comprised of an audio spot, cover art, and clickable campaign name.
  • Display - Leaderboard ads in the Spotify player are served when the user is interacting with Spotify.
  • Homepage Takeover - Block out a full day for your brand on our Homepage.
  • Branded Playlist - Custom user-generated playlists with brand logo, custom text, and optional link to your campaign.
  • Sponsored Session – Users choose to watch a video to receive a 30-minute, ad-free session.
  • Video Takeover - Sponsor the ad break experience with video and display.
  • Advertiser Page - A microsite seamlessly integrated into the Spotify player. The Advertiser Page can contain practically any content you'd find on a webpage, including videos, clickable images, blogs, news, links, and comments.

Spotify campaign for BMW

One example of a campaign run on Spotify was for the launch of the BMW 320i for which an 'American Road Trip' campaign was developed.  A branded app on Spotify enabled users to select from one of five iconic American road trips. Based on their selection, a custom playlist is generated featuring songs and artists from regions along the selected route. A BMW video was served during playlist generation and the final playlist was sharable via social media. The campaign resulted in more than 14,000 playlists being created.

Do Spotify have competition?

Spotify faces competition from existing online music services such as iTunes and Napster, but given that this is an evolving marketplace, other major competitors can be expected. For example, in late 2014 Google launched its Music Key  subscription service via YouTube and Apple purchased the Beats subscription service earlier in the year. Amazon also now offer Prime Music subscription to customers who are in its loyalty programme


Unlike in the ‘ era’ when startups with global aspirations launched using TV campaigns, Spotify’s growth has been a more modest approach relying on Word-of-mouth, PR and co-marketing rather than big ad budgets. When the service went live in October 2008, it kept its free service invitation only, something that had been in place whilst it was in the final stages of development prior to public launch.

By introducing scarcity, the invitation-only element was a vital part of the platform’s rise. It helped create a viral element to the service, with users each having 5 invites at first to share with their friends.

Similarly, the launch of Spotify in the US used private ‘Beta’ invites to create a buzz as those with access shared their use of it in social media (and through word-of-mouth)

The music streaming service went live in October 2008, and it kept its free service invitation only, something that had been in place whilst it was in the final stages of development prior to public launch.

The invitation-only element was a vital part of the platform’s rise. Not only did it help manage the growth level of Spotify, but it also helped create a viral element to the service, with users each having 5 invites at first to share with their friends.

Spotify has used co-marketing and partnerships with publishers to increase it’s reach by embedding different formats of widgets on other sites. For example Drowned In Sound has a monthly playlist which it embeds within its blog which encourages its readers to engage with Spotify. A music magazine like NME offers apps with a range of playlists which again will generate awareness and engagement. Other partnership services enable Festivals and Charities to engage their audience through Spotify playlists.

To grow its audience beyond its traditional younger audience Spotify today invests more in campaigns. In 2013 it launched a multiplatform campaign, with a 30-second ad spot during the season premiere of NBC's 'The Voice.' Sixty-second versions of the commercial aired in 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' and 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.'

In 2014 Spotify launched a 'Music takes You Back' ad ( in the UK and US which featured in cinema, digital signage and online.

It centres around three videos which showcases three different people’s stories through the medium of Spotify, Facebook, text messages, Skype and Instagram. It aim is to show how Spotify can bring people together through its integration with social media. Spotify decided not to use TV creating 75 to 90 second videos rather than the typical 30 second TV ad break slots.

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