Evaluating Internalization Strategies for Music Streaming Services: A Strategic, Market and Implication Analysis of Music Streaming Services Internationalizing Into South Korea

Christopher Iain Davis

Student thesis: Master thesis


This work investigates the applicability of traditional internationalization strategies, particularly the Foreign Direct Investment strategy, towards a contemporary multinational service firm if it were to enter the South Korean music streaming industry. The type of service firm in question is labelled as a “music streaming service.” In order to contextualize it with this study, the researcher uses the music streaming service Spotify as a point of reference when applying theory. On the one side, an exploratory study of the South Korean music streaming industry is carried out in order to provide the researcher with the foundational knowledge about an area which is (1) unfamiliar to him (2) and whereby research regarding the internationalization strategy of a foreign music streaming service into South Korea is yet to be established. Via exploration of the South Korean music streaming environment, carried out by first hand interviews with three South Korean music streaming companies, particular determinants were discovered, which are deemed relevant to a music streaming service looking to internationalize into South Korea. Subsequent to this, relevant internationalization theories applicable towards an entry strategy of a firm are compiled. However, the prevailing internationalization theories in which the researcher deems to challenge traditional approaches will be reviewed further and in more detail. This will provide a better understanding of how these theoretical approaches may be relevant to a music streaming service as well. The conclusive part of the research investigates variables beyond those drawn from traditional internationalization strategies. This is done so by adopting a broader theoretical perspective of South Koreas Institutional structure. More specifically this will touch upon two schools of thought: the Formal & Informal Institution. Whereby the Formal institution represents the political & legal institutions of South Korea and the Informal institution representing South Korean culture and social structure. Their effects and implications will be analysed toward South Korea’s music streaming industry and an investing music streaming service (Spotify), as well.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages133