These uses can be long-standing or recent. One example of a long-standing use is music piped into public spaces such as retail stores. It is associated with Muzak Holdings LCC, a company formed as long ago as 1934. It refers to the music it produces as business music. See Wikipedia for a history of the Muzak company.1 It ran into financial troubles in recent years and announced in April 2007 that it would be merging with DMX Music,2 a subscription service that provides generic, sanitised music via digital cable, satellite and local-premise technology.

The development of piped music has clearly entered the digital era, forced upon traditional providers by the advent of alternative technologies in the 1990s providing business owners with more options.

Two recent fields are the video games industry, formally known as interactive entertainment, and the market for telephone ringtones. The Australian digital games industry is described in the government culture and recreation portal.3 The growth in the ringtones market is described in many places, for instance in a note by Caslon Analytics.4 See also Wikipedia on ringtones.5

There are other new products and applications, and offers to contribute are invited.


Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Last updated 20 April 2007.



Hans founded his own consulting firm, Economic Strategies Pty Ltd, in 1984, following 25 years with larger organisations. He specialised from the outset in applied cultural economics — one of his first major projects was The Australian Music Industry for the Music Board of the Australia Council (published in 1987), which also marks his first connection with Richard Letts who was the Director of the Music Board in the mid-1980s. Hans first assisted the Music Council of Australia in 2000 and between 2006 and 2008 proposed and developed the Knowledge Base, returning in an active capacity as its editor in 2011. In November 2013 the Knowledge Base was transferred to The Music Trust, with MCA's full cooperation.

Between 2000 and 2010 Hans also authored or co-authored several major domestic and international climate change projects, using scenario planning techniques to develop alternative long-term futures. He has for several years been exploring the similarities between the economics of cultural and ecological change, and their continued lack of political clout which is to a large extent due to conventional GDP data being unable to measure the true value of our cultural and environmental capital. This was announced as a major scenario-planning project for The Music Trust in March 2014 (articles of particular relevance to the project are marked *, below).

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