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Warner Grows Global Reach With Acquisition Of Indonesian Label Group ISS

Warner Music Group has signed a deal to acquire the catalog of leading Indonesian independent recorded music group PT Indo Semar Sakti (ISS).

Warner Music Group has signed a deal to acquire the catalog of leading Indonesian independent recorded music group PT Indo Semar Sakti (ISS).

The agreement covers ISS label imprints Aruna, Billboard, Bulletin and Granada Records, whose combined catalog spans the mid-1970s to 1990s and comprises several thousand songs, which will be legitimately digitized for the first time.

Repertoire from more than 40 local artists, including 2D, Kris Biantoro, 3 Dara, Utha Likumahua, Ita Purnamasari, Paramitha Rusady will be reissued as part of the deal. Financial terms were not revealed.

“Digital technology is opening up incredible opportunities in Indonesia, where previously piracy hindered our ability to invest in local music,” said Simon Robson, president, Warner Music Asia in a statement. “This deal strengthens our position there, enabling us to help preserve Indonesia’s strong musical heritage by bringing this incredible repertoire to new generations of music fans.”

Warner’s acquisition of ISS builds on the major’s existing operations in Indonesia and further grows its presence in Asia. In 2014, WMG concluded a deal for the recorded music catalog and artist roster of Gold Typhoon Group, of the biggest independent music companies in Greater China, representing approximately 3.5 percent of the Chinese market.  

That transaction gave access to a catalog of over 600,000 Chinese and international songs, including repertoire from multi-million selling pop vocalist Ah Mei and boy-band Lollipop, as well as mainland Chinese artist Xu Wei and Malaysian producer Eric Moo.

The deal with ISS is not on that scale, but it does give Warner a good foothold in a fast-growing music market and one of the world’s major emerging economies. According to IFPI, music sales in Indonisia – which is made up of a chain of thousands of islands located between Asia and Australia and has a population of over 240 million – grew by almost 25 percent in 2015, making it the 38th biggest music market in the world. That growth was driven almost exclusively by digital, which accounted for over 70 percent of the country’s music revenues last year.   

“The world is full of possibility for musical talent and, wherever there is a vibrant, viable local music market, we are looking to expand WMG’s ability to develop artists’ careers,” commented Stu Bergen, CEO, international and global commercial services for Warner Music Group.

He went on to say that the deal with ISS will enable Warner “to create new opportunities for artists in Indonesia and extend our reach in Asia, underscoring our determination to accelerate our global growth.”