Market Selection in The Entertainment Industry

Market Selection in The Entertainment Industry

The internationalization process (market selection) of firms has been one of the most frequently researched topics in international marketing over the past forty years (Fletcher, 2001). With improved communication systems, and as a consequence of transportation cost reduction and the lowering of barriers to international trade, SMEs have pushed towards international markets (Nummela, Loane & Bell, 2006). This rule applies to artists and corporations in the music industry as well. Global distribution of music and performances has been a rising standard since the 2nd half of the 20th century, with the rise of electronic dance music to a worldwide phenomenon as the most current example.

One of the most important SME decisions, regarding the internationalization process, pertains to which foreign market it should enter and expand into. Three well-known models developed for international market selection are the ones of Root, Johansson, and Hollensen.

Nimble has combined these three models and applied them to artists and corporations operating in the entertainment industry. By doing so, the following conceptual market selection framework has been formed. Also have a look at our article on the the internalization of artists.

Market Selection Model for the Music Industry by Nimble Agency

Market Selection Process

Phase 1

In phase one, a subset of potential markets, called market segments, is established based on three determinants: the firm, the host country and the entry barriers of host countries. These three determinants are at the basis of a company’s screening process. Screening is the initial step in the selection process and is the preliminary stage of the in-depth global assessment of opportunities (Russow & Solocha, 1993).

Following Musso & Francioni (2012) the firm’s determinants of market segmentation include existing networks of relationships, internationalization experience, internationalization goals and size/amount of resources.

The host countries are ranked based on their: measurability, accessibility, profitability and actionability. A high amount of measurability and accessibility indicates more general characteristics as criteria, a low amount of measurability and accessibility indicates less general characteristics (Hollensen, 1998). For the music industry in specific, general characteristics are mostly used to create a subset of markets in phase one. Non-general characteristics, also known as specific characteristics, are more significant in the in-depth screening phase. Following Hollensen (1998) General characteristics include:

  • Geographic location
  • Industrial structure
  • Social organization
  • Political factors
  • Demography
  • Technology
  • Education
  • Language
  • Economy
  • Religion


Barriers of the host country are determined by market similarity, market potential, and competition.

Phase 2

A subset of markets has been established in step one; the in-depth screening phase is about two consecutive steps: non-general characteristics screening and fine-grained screening. This is the next step in market selection for global entertainment marketing. As explained in phase one, non-general characteristics are fewer measurable, accessible, profitable and actionable. Following Hollensen non-general characteristics include:

  • Cultural characteristics
  • Predispositions
  • Personality
  • Lifestyles
  • Attitudes


Fine-grained screening, to be done after assessing the non-general characteristics, determines the market attractiveness and competitive strength by some criteria:

  • Market attractiveness
    • Government regulations
    • Economic stability
    • Political stability
    • Market seasons
    • Market growth
    • Buying power
  • Competitive strength
    • Access to distribution channels
    • Product to market fit
    • Marketing ability
    • Market share

Phase 3

If completed correctly phase two will deliver a small number of potential markets to enter. Phase three is about segmenting these markets on a micro level, to determine a final selection. Following Hollensen sub-segments in each qualified market can be made using variables as:

  • Demographic/Economic factors
  • Consumer motivations
  • Buyer behaviour
  • Geography
  • Lifestyles


As described at the beginning of this document, one of the most significant decisions regarding internationalization is which markets one should enter. Global marketing and international market selection are especially important in an entertainment marketing strategy. By collaborating with your company, Nimble Agency can recommend on the most treasured target markets for your particular product or service. By taking all macro and micro factors into account, Nimble Agency will not only perfect your internationalization decision but also improve the competitive edge of your company as a whole.

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