Reordering the music industry: when digital platforms restructure industry ecosystems

Katharina Cepa, Amber Geurts

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


Digitalization allows disruptors to enter and transform industries with new disruptive technologies or business models, often introducing digital platforms that modify prevalent value creation and capture mechanisms. Prior research has analyzed external drivers and incumbents' organizational responses. We follow a growing field of interest studying the effects of such disruption on industry ecosystems. Specifically, we explore how and when digital disruptor platforms succeed in restructuring ecosystems. Our study of the Dutch music industry from the 1990s to 2016 shows that digital disruptor platforms succeed restructuring industry ecosystem when they reconfigure value creation as well value capture. We further show that digital disruptor platforms successfully dethrone industry sponsors by deploying inclusive content strategies, while defeated pre-digital incumbents later regain dominance by deploying exclusive niche content strategies. Our findings contribute to theories on digital disruption by showing the importance of intermediary organizations that help translate physical to digital offerings. We further contribute to platform competition literature by showing that digital disruptors and defeated pre-digital incumbents pursue different platform strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13391
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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