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Research Guides

JDM3619: Digital Media Distribution

A guide to business research tools available at UTL

Fictional company problem statement:

CANSound provides distribution services for Canadian music creators, film producers, and artists. Our rights management services help artists, labels, and managers sell their music through both established mainstream and decentralized channels, while retaining 100 percent focus on their creative projects and 100 percent of their sales revenue and rights.

Steps to Success

Follow these steps to build a market landscape for this new venture.


Identify keywords and search concepts

  1. What search concepts can be found in the problem statement? Using the "Developing search concepts worksheet" below, identify at least four search concepts.
  2. What keywords can be found in the problem statement? Identify what is our company about and what terminology can been pulled out from the problem statement.
  3. What terminology is used by the industries, companies, products, technologies? Use Google to search for company websites and more to get started (even Wikipedia - but be sure to drill down and find the original source so you can confirm that the information is accurate).
  4. What terms are used by researchers? Search article databases and look at their keywords / subject heading / controlled vocabulary topics.
  5. What are similar terms? Think of synonyms, jargon, etc. These will be your fallbacks when your searches come up empty.
  6. Start with your top five: select the terms that best summarize the topic and start with those. You can iterate as you go along.
  7. Search for the term "distribution" within the David Stopps book, How to make a living from music (pdf download from LibGuide homepage) to learn the many ways "distribution" is used in music-specific business and legal contexts. Use this book to look up other terms you find.
  8. Note that terms may vary from place to place. For instance, not only is "Fair Use" in the USA called "Fair Dealing" in Canada, but the terms have somewhat different meanings. See the Stopps book, pp. 36-37 for a comparison. In building your market landscape for the new CANSound venture, remember that the company is based in Canada.

Keep a list of all the terms we find. It's a good idea to get into the practice of keeping research notes to evolve your search as you go along. Use the "Keyword Searching Handout" (pdf below) for common market research terms, how to use advanced search, etc.