PhD Defence Sigbjørn Hjelmbrekke

On 1 December 2021, S. Hjelmbrekke will defend his PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘From Ownership to Access’.

Discussions on digitisation tend to emphasise the conversion of previously tangible products into intangible products. Arguably, an even more fundamental transition is that from purchasing copies of music, whether digital or physical, to streaming services. With a few clicks or swipes, people have access to large parts of all music that has ever been recorded. Music streaming services make all this music available at the cost of a fixed monthly fee, or even for free if one can tolerate advertising in between the songs. 

The transition to music streaming is a transition from purchasing copies of recordings one will own indefinitely, to renting access to music for a limited time period. This has some very important implications. As revenues are now accrued upon play instead of upon sale, the new model has introduced a lag in income for artists and publishers. New recordings receive less than they used to. Revenues that are taken from new recordings are distributed as an unexpected benefit to old recordings that have already earned their share of revenues through traditional record sales. This thesis explores how consumers have adapted to the new options, and what the implications are for rights holders and other stakeholders.

PhD student

Sigbjørn Hjelmbrekke

More information

The public defence will take place at the Senate Hall, 1st floor Erasmus Building, location campus Woudestein. The ceremony will begin exactly at 13.00 PM. In light of the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony.

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