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Exploring Disruptive Innovation: Case study on Multi-sided Platforms
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM).
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this research is to explore disruptive innovation and to determine whether Christensen’s latest version (2015) of the disruptive innovation theory can explain the success of multisided platforms in the music industry. Thus, we analyze three cases studies based on the theory: Napster, Spotify and Apple Music. At the end, we present our results concerning Christensen’s theory’s capability to explain the recent success stories of digital multisided platforms.

Research Question -

“Does the theory of disruptive innovation explain the success of Multi-sided Platforms in the music industry?”

Methodology - A comparative case study with three levels of success gives us a width that we think is necessary in order to draw conclusions. Spotify is considered to be a global market leader while Apple Music is highly successful and market leader in the US. Napster, however, is not considered successful due to the legal issues it has encountered. Secondary data is used on all cases, and an in-depth literature review of the theory which supports the theoretical framework that we use to compare the cases.

Findings - This research explores Christensen’s theory that is widely misinterpreted and misapplied in the recent years. Christensen’s theory is heavily built upon a technology factor that drives disruptive innovation, however, this can not explain for instance Spotify’s success, which is according to the original theory is not disruptive. We argue that business model innovation is the driver of disruption in some cases where technology is merely an enabler for business to reach disruptive effects. We would like to propose a stronger categorization of disruption types, such as “technology driven disruption” or “business model driven disruption” in order to identify disruption with different roots.

Abstract [sv]

Syfte - Syftet med denna forskning är att undersöka disruptiv (omstörtande) innovation och att avgöra om Christensens senaste version (2015) av den disruptiva (omstörtande) innovationsteorin kan förklara framgången med flersidiga plattformar inom musikbranschen. Således analyserar vi tre fallstudier baserade på teorin: Napster, Spotify och Apple Music. I slutet presenterar vi våra resultat avseende Christensens teoris förmåga att förklara de senaste framgångshistorierna för digitala flersidiga plattformar.

Forskningsfråga -

“Förklarar teorin om disruptiv innovation framgången med flersidiga plattformar i musikbranschen?”

Metodik - En jämförande fallstudie med tre nivåer av framgång ger oss den bredd som vi tycker är nödvändig för att dra slutsatser. Spotify anses vara en global marknadsledare och Apple Music är mycket framgångsrikt samt marknadsledande i USA. Napster anses emellertid inte framgångsrikt på grund av de rättsliga problem som uppstått. Sekundär data används i alla exempel, samt en djupgående litteraturöversikt av teorin som stöder den teoretiska ramverk som vi använder för att jämföra fallen.

Resultat - Denna undersökning utforskar Christensens teori som är brett misstolkad och felaktig tillämpad under de senaste åren. Christensens teori bygger starkt på en teknikfaktor som driver disruptiv innovation, men detta kan inte förklara exempelvis Spotifys framgång, vilken enligt den ursprungliga teorin inte är disruptiv. Vi argumenterar för att affärsmodellinnovation driver störningar i fall där tekniken bara är en katalysator för att verksamheten når disruptiva effekter. Vi skulle vilja föreslå en starkare kategorisering av disruptionstyper, till exempel “tekniskt driven disruption” eller “affärsmodelldisruption” för att identifiera disruptioner med olika rötter.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Series
TRITA-ITM-EX ; 211
Keywords [en]
Disruptive innovation theory, Multi-sided platforms, Spotify, Apple Music, Napster, Business model innovation, Music Industry, Disruption, Innovation.
Keywords [sv]
Disruptiv innovationsteori, omstörtande innovation, Flersidiga plattformar, Spotify, Apple Music, Napster, Affärsmodell, Musikindustri, Avbrott, Innovation.
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-253833OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-253833DiVA, id: diva2:1327209
Educational program
Master of Science - Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-06-19 Last updated: 2019-09-06Bibliographically approved

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