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From music industry to content industry: a story of Sun Eater Records

Idhar Resmadi (Department of Visual Communication Design, Telkom University, Bandung, Indonesia)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 19 August 2022


Learning outcomes

At the end of this study, students should analyze the re-orientation of innovation music business model strategy to create a new market using the Blue Ocean Strategy of Sun-Eater Records Company. Furthermore, they should be able to implement the business model transformation in the music industry in this digital media era based on data and technological capability. Students should analyze the digital content strategy that is relatable and relevant to music customers/users through content creation. Finally, they need to create the content strategy applicable to promotion and marketing innovatively in the music business.

Case overview/synopsis

This study analyzes how a Jakarta-based independent music company, Sun Eater Records, changed its strategy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The adverse effect of the pandemic on this company included a massive drop in sales of products and revenues from tours, festivals and outdoor music performances. Music industry stakeholders were confused and frustrated because of the restriction and the implementation of the social distancing policy, as most of their business models depended on live music showcases and selling records. The protagonist of this study, Kukuh Rizal Arfianto, is the director and co-founder of Sun Eater Records. Kukuh’s experience during the pandemic is used to capture the dilemma faced by the music industry players in Indonesia. This agile businessman transformed this music company by embracing digitalization. Inspired by the business models of Disney and 88 Rising (Music Management), Sun Eater Records developed various derivatives digital products. The company did not only sell music through digital content, it also developed several complementary products with music as their main theme. These innovative creations include mini-documentary, virtual concerts, compilation albums serial, digital comics, and Covid-19 Campaigns. The company is quite active in leveraging digitalization to survive in this business compared to other industry players. This study provides communication and design students opportunities to analyze how to draft an effective content strategy in the industry, in this case, the music industry.

Complexity academic level

This case is designed mainly for Management, Innovation, and Digital Communication course at the Bachelor's level program.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy.



Resmadi, I. (2022), "From music industry to content industry: a story of Sun Eater Records", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 12 No. 3.



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