This consultancy report examined the feasibility of Mixmag, a UK-based music and dance magazine, expanding into the Asian and North American markets. The report utilized a PESTEL analysis to explore the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors that could impact Mixmag’s expansion into Asia and North America. The report also discusses the potential challenges and opportunities that Mixmag may face in these markets and provides recommendations for how the company can address these challenges and capitalize on its opportunities.
Mixmag is a leading electronic dance and clubbing magazine at the forefront of the dance music scene for over 30 years. Founded in 1983 in the United Kingdom, Mixmag has established itself as an authority in electronic dance music, covering global dance music and culture (Mixmag, n.d). With its focus on quality journalism, Mixmag has become a respected source of information and insight for dance music enthusiasts worldwide. The magazine’s coverage of the latest trends and events in electronic dance music has helped shape the culture and community surrounding the genre. The magazine was first launched as a print publication, focusing on providing readers with insights into the emerging rave culture of the time. Mixmag’s early years were defined by the explosion of acid house and the rise of techno and other forms of electronic dance music. As the magazine grew in popularity, it became a vital resource for dance music fans looking for the latest news, reviews, and features.
Since its founding, Mixmag has evolved alongside the electronic dance music scene. The magazine has expanded its coverage to include various genres, from house and techno to drum and bass, dubstep, and beyond. Mixmag has also embraced new digital technologies and social media, establishing a strong online presence that reaches millions of readers worldwide. Mixmag’s evolution over the years is a testament to its commitment to staying relevant and connected with the ever-changing electronic dance music scene. The magazine’s coverage has expanded to include music, fashion, art, and culture, reflecting the diverse interests of its readership. Mixmag’s editorial team constantly pushes boundaries and seeks out new and emerging talent, ensuring that the magazine remains fresh and engaging.
Today, Mixmag is more than just a magazine. It is a global brand encompassing various media platforms, including print, online, and social media. Mixmag has expanded its presence beyond the traditional print format and has established itself as a multi-platform media brand. In addition to the print magazine, Mixmag has a comprehensive website that provides a wealth of content to dance music fans. The website is a hub for dance music fans, featuring news, reviews, and interviews covering the latest trends in dance music from around the world. The site also offers exclusive mixes and playlists from some of the biggest names in electronic dance music. The site offers a wide range of mixes, covering everything from house and techno to drum and bass and beyond. Top DJs and producers curate these mixes and provide fans with a unique opportunity to experience the music in a new way.
Mixmag’s social media accounts are equally impressive, with a massive following on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The brand’s social media presence shows its global reach, with fans and followers worldwide. The large following on social media platforms enables the organization to share content with fans worldwide. Mixmag’s social media accounts provide fans with real-time updates on the latest news and trends in the dance music world and exclusive content like live streams and behind-the-scenes looks at events.
One of the reasons for Mixmag’s enduring success is its commitment to quality journalism. The magazine’s writers and editors are experts in their field, with a deep knowledge and understanding of electronic dance music and club culture. Mixmag’s coverage is always informative, engaging, and insightful, giving readers a unique perspective on the dance music scene. Mixmag has also been instrumental in shaping the dance music industry. The magazine’s annual DJ poll, which ranks the top DJs in the world, has become a highly anticipated event, with millions of votes cast each year. The poll reflects Mixmag’s influence in the dance music community and its ability to shape the conversation around the scene. Over the years, Mixmag has also hosted several events and parties worldwide. The magazine’s parties are known for their high energy and great music, with lineups that feature some of the biggest names in electronic dance music. Mixmag’s events are a testament to the magazine’s commitment to bringing dance music to the masses and celebrating the culture around it.
The problem facing MixMag is the need to expand its audience and revenue streams to remain competitive in the ever-changing media landscape. MixMag currently relies heavily on advertising revenue, which is becoming increasingly challenging in the digital age. MixMag needs to diversify its revenue streams and explore new opportunities for monetization, such as subscriptions, merchandise, events, and partnerships with brands and other media companies. Moreover, as the electronic dance music (EDM) scene continues to grow and evolve, Mixmag faces increasing competition from other media outlets and publications. The increased competition and under-diversified revenue streams pose a significant challenge to Mixmag because it is mainly based in the European market and has yet to explore new markets for expansion.
While the brand has a strong presence in the UK and Europe, there are many other regions worldwide where the dance music scene is thriving. Mixmag can tap into new audiences and explore new revenue opportunities by expanding its reach into new markets. It can also solidify Mixmag’s position as a global brand, giving it more influence in the dance music community and helping to drive the culture and community of the genre forward. Additionally, expanding into new countries can help to mitigate the risks of relying too heavily on one market, such as the UK or Europe, and provide a more stable and diversified revenue base. This can help the company weather economic downturns and changes in the market, ensuring its long-term sustainability and growth. The PESTEL analysis of Mixmag has identified several factors that may impact the company’s ability to expand into new markets, including political and economic factors and social and cultural factors specific to each region. By carefully considering these factors and developing a strategic expansion plan, Mixmag can position itself for success in new markets and continue to drive the dance music culture forward globally. Moreover, the organization can identify the best expansion option to consider.
Results of the Project
A PESTEL analysis was conducted to assess African, Asian, North American, South American, and Australian markets to determine political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors that may affect Mixmag’s expansion. The analysis was based on a comparative scale, which focused on identifying a market with high potential that can easily accommodate Mixmag and expand its revenue streams. The results obtained are discussed in the following sections by exploring each component of the PESTEL analytical tool.
Political factors refer to the influence of government policies and regulations on a business. One is the increasing regulation of the electronic dance music (EDM) industry. Many countries have introduced laws and regulations that aim to control the use of drugs and other illegal activities at dance music events (Palamar & Sönmez, 2022). This can impact Mixmag’s events, as it may be required to comply with additional regulations and security measures. Another political factor that can impact Mixmag is changes in trade policies, which could affect the import and export of goods and services, making it more challenging for Mixmag to operate globally (Tien et al., 2019). For instance, trade wars or sanctions imposed on certain countries can impact Mixmag’s ability to import or export goods and services. Moreover, changes in taxation policies can also impact Mixmag’s bottom line, as it may have to pay higher taxes in some countries where it operates.
Although music and dance are significant activities in Asia, some political factors may challenge Mixmag. Some countries in Asia experience political unrest, such as civil unrest, terrorism, and riots, that may hamper Mixmag’s business operations (Batsaikhan & Dabrowski, 2017). For instance, countries like Iraq, Iran, Palestine, and Myanmar have recently experienced some form of political instability. Furthermore, political instability can create a volatile business environment that makes it difficult for companies like Mixmag to operate effectively. The threat of violence or disruption can discourage investors, partners, and customers from engaging with the company and can also limit the availability of resources such as transportation, electricity, and internet access. The company may also face difficulty in organizing live events and concerts. Nevertheless, there are countries that are fairly stable politically, including the US, Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. Mixmag can explore such markets by considering them for expansion. However, China has many restrictions that may limit Mixmag’s ability to operate effectively (Manning, 2019). In this regard, Japan remains as the best country with a high potential EDM market.
Environmental factors refer to the influence of environmental conditions on a business. Several environmental factors can impact Mixmag’s operation in different regions. One is the impact of climate change on events and festivals. Extreme weather events, such as floods or hurricanes, can impact the safety and viability of events. The weather changes may affect outdoor events (Marttella et al., 2017). Although this might be an issue in some countries, it may not be experienced in developed countries such as the US and Canada due to advanced infrastructure. However, some developing countries in Asia may present challenges with live physical events, especially if targeting small towns and rural areas. Mixmag may need to invest in disaster planning and safety measures to mitigate these risks.
Another environmental factor that can impact Mixmag is the environmental regulations prohibiting pollution. Mixmag may need to adopt environmentally-friendly practices, such as reducing the use of single-use plastics at events. Government policies regarding environmental pollution may affect individuals’ festival loyalty (Lee, 2016). Mixmag should be aware of the increasing demand for sustainable practices in the music industry. The use of single-use plastics, carbon emissions, and waste management are key areas of concern. Mixmag can adopt sustainable practices such as reducing single-use plastics, using renewable energy sources, and implementing recycling programs.
Asian culture has a long and rich history of promoting music as a form of cultural expression, entertainment, and social bonding. Dance has been an integral part of inter-Asian cultural events for a long time (Wilcox, 2017). Many Asian countries have a rich heritage of folk music that has been passed down through generations. Traditional music is often associated with cultural identity and is promoted through festivals, performances, and educational programs. For example, in Japan, traditional music such as gagaku, koto, and shamisen are taught in schools and universities, and performances are often held at temples and shrines. Asian culture also promotes music through the entertainment industry. Many Asian countries have a thriving music industry, producing a wide range of music from pop to classical (Kim, 2017). The entertainment industry provides opportunities for aspiring musicians to showcase their talents and become cultural icons.
North American culture has a rich history of promoting music, with a wide variety of genres and styles that have gained popularity both domestically and internationally. The region likes music to the extent that music education is valued and offered by many institutions (Bond, 2015). North America has a vibrant live music scene, with many cities hosting concerts, festivals, and music events throughout the year. Popular music venues, such as the Hollywood Bowl, Madison Square Garden, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre, attract both domestic and international acts and provide a platform for artists to showcase their music. Such platforms can be utilized by Mixmag to organize live events and reach many audiences.
Technological factors have been the center of advancements in EDM. The rise of social media and digital platforms have changed the way people consume music and interact with media (Verboord & Noord, 2016). Mixmag may need to adapt its business model to reflect these changes, such as by developing mobile apps and digital content. Another technological factor that can impact Mixmag is the increasing use of data and analytics in the music industry. Mixmag may need to invest in data analytics tools to remain competitive. While some countries have advanced digital infrastructures and high rates of internet connectivity, others may have limited access to technology or rely on different social media platforms. Countries such as China are investing heavily in new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and 5G, and are seeking to establish themselves as leaders in these areas (Cheney, 2019). Overall, most countries in North America and Asia have adopted advanced technology. However, in Asia, countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are ahead of others in technological innovation and adoption.
Economic factors refer to the influence of economic conditions on a business. Several economic factors can affect Mixmag’s operation in new regions, or even prevent its entry. Some countries in Asia have struggled with issues such as corruption, poverty, and income inequality, which can make it difficult for companies to establish a foothold and generate revenue.
Inflation can impact Mixmag’s costs of production, such as printing and distribution costs, as well as its advertising and marketing costs. If inflation rates are high, the cost of producing and distributing the magazine may increase, which could affect the company’s profitability. Mixmag may need to adjust its pricing strategy or look for more cost-effective ways to produce and distribute its content.
Exchange rates can also impact Mixmag’s operations, especially if the company operates in multiple countries. If the exchange rate of the currency in which Mixmag operates decreases, it may become more expensive for the company to import or export goods or services. This can impact the cost of producing and distributing the magazine, as well as any other products or services that Mixmag may offer.
Economic growth and consumer spending habits are also critical considerations for Mixmag. If economic growth is slow, consumer spending habits may change, and consumers may be less likely to purchase discretionary items like magazines. This could affect Mixmag’s sales and profitability. Alternatively, if there is a robust economic growth, consumers may be more likely to spend money on entertainment, which could create opportunities for Mixmag to increase its sales.
One is the impact of economic downturns on the music industry. If the economy experiences a downturn, people may be less willing to spend money on music and entertainment, which could impact Mixmag’s revenue streams.
Another economic factor that can impact Mixmag is the rise of streaming services. As more people move away from traditional music formats like CDs and vinyl, Mixmag may need to adapt its business model to remain relevant.
Legal factors refer to the influence of laws and regulations on a business. In the case of Mixmag, there are several legal factors that can impact the organization. One is the impact of copyright laws on the music industry. Mixmag may need to ensure that it is complying with copyright laws when producing and distributing content. Another legal factor that can impact Mixmag is the impact of data privacy laws on the collection and use of customer
MixMag could expand into new countries, such as the US or Asia, where there is a growing interest in electronic music and club culture. This could involve creating localized content, partnering with local brands and media outlets, and establishing a physical presence through events and merchandise.
The EDM market is projected to experience steady growth globally. A forecast for 2023 to 2033 indicates that the market is expected to value at US$ 9.68 billion in 2023, and experience a compound annual growth rate of 8% to US$ 20.9 billion in 2033 (Future Market Insights, 2023). The statistics indicate an opportunity that Mixmag company can exploit if it uses appropriate expansion strategies to extend its products and services to regions with high potentials. Although the company entered the US market by establishing its offices in New York in 2015, it still needs to expand to other parts of the US to fully realize benefits due to economies of scale.
Major growth is expected in North America (the US and Canada), which is the second largest market for EDM after Europe. The expected growth is attributed to the increasing number of large celebrations organized across North America, which attract large crowds (Future Market Insights, 2023). The American culture facilitates the growth of EDM since many people positively respond to concerts and festivals organized. Additionally, the rising popularity of EDM and the emergence of new sub-genres within the EDM scene are also contributing to the anticipated growth in North America. Advancements in technology and the availability of affordable music production software have made it easier for aspiring DJs and producers to create and distribute their music, which is fueling the growth of the EDM industry.
Japan has experienced increased growth in music and dance industry over the past decades. Currently, the country still has more potential for growth due to the large population that likes music, facilitated by its culture. Japan’s recorded music revenues increased by 9% to €2.2 billion in 2022, as reported by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) (Legrand, 2023). Moreover, Japanese market is the second largest globally, and is dominated with physical sales, which accounted for approximately 42% of the market (Legrand, 2023). This is the fifth consecutive year of growth for the Japanese recorded music market, with digital music streaming services being a key driver of this growth. The RIAJ predicts continued growth in the Japanese recorded music market in the coming years, with streaming services and vinyl records remaining important sources of revenue. Based on these findings, Japan is a potential market for Mixmag, where it can realized increased revenues through online sales and physical events.
Potential costs and benefits
The costs of establishing a physical presence in new countries could be significant, but the potential profits from reaching new audiences and establishing new revenue streams could outweigh the costs. The US market, for example, is estimated to be worth $7.1 billion, and the Asian market is estimated to be worth $2.2 billion.
Conclusions, Recommendations, and Limitations
In conclusion, this consultancy report has identified potential markets for Mixmag’s expansion and proposed a strategy for entering these markets. The market and regulatory environments of several potential countries were analyzed using the PESTEL framework. The analysis focused on examining North American, Asian, Australian, and African markets. However, more of the analysis focused on North America and Asia, which appeared as the best markets for Mixmag to explore. The PESTEL analysis indicated that most Asian countries can be accommodative to the business, except for a few limitations found. First, political unrest in some countries makes them inappropriate for live music events. From the general analysis of the Asian market, three countries emerged as the better ones, including Japan, China, and South Korea. However, a deeper analysis revealed that China has many restrictions on media that may affect Mixmag’s operations. Japan remained as the most suitable country for Mixmag due to various advantages, including favorable regulations and large market.
On the other hand, North America was found to be another important market for Mixmag. The region is the second largest market for EDM after Europe, and has good infrastructure to support live events. Moreover, the US and Canada are more advanced technological, making it easier for Mixmag to advertise and facilitate online sales. Regulations in the region are also favorable and may support business operations. The American culture that involves like music events attracting large crowds makes it good place for expansion because Mixmag can organize live events to promote its business and earn more revenue. Although the company has explored the market, it is yet to reach its potential. The North American market is large and can be exploited by increasing office branches in different States.
Based on the findings, Mixmag should pursue its expansion into the North America and Japan markets using a joint venture entry mode. The company should collaborate with local partners to leverage their knowledge and networks and adapt its products and services to meet local consumer preferences. Mixmag should also conduct continuous market research and gather feedback from local consumers to stay relevant and competitive. Additionally, Mixmag should establish a strong online presence to reach a wider audience in the North America and Japan markets. The company should also invest in targeted marketing campaigns to raise brand awareness and differentiate itself from competitors. Furthermore, Mixmag should closely monitor market trends and adjust its strategies accordingly to capitalize on emerging opportunities and stay ahead of changing consumer preferences. By adopting a flexible and adaptive approach, Mixmag can establish itself as a leading player in the electronic music industry in these two key markets.
Although Mixmag continues to do well in its relations with customers, it needs to adopt strategies that can enable it retain more customers and enhance loyalty. Mixmag should maintain good relations with the local communities where its events take place. This involves addressing the concerns of the community, reducing noise pollution, and ensuring that events do not cause any disturbance to the local ecosystem. Mixmag should be aware of the impact of its events on biodiversity. Festivals can disrupt the natural habitat of local flora and fauna, and the use of certain lighting and sound systems can disturb wildlife. It is essential to conduct environmental impact assessments before organizing events in sensitive areas.
To navigate through the political factors that impact Mixmag, the company needs to stay updated on government policies and regulations that affect its operations. The company can do this by working closely with industry associations and government bodies that deal with the EDM industry. By doing so, Mixmag can gain insights into the latest regulatory changes and make informed decisions on how to comply with them. Additionally, Mixmag needs to maintain a good relationship with government officials and policymakers to influence policy decisions that affect the EDM industry positively.
Although this project explored various markets to identify the best for Mixmag’s expansion, it has limitations. The analysis is based on secondary data sources, which may not provide a complete understanding of local markets’ nuances. Even though the secondary data may provide more insight into the current situations in the countries explored, it may not capture the recent changes in prefernces and tastes. Moreover, the study does not explore competition that Mixmag can face in these regions. For instance, North America has many competitors that might have caused the slow growth of the company in the region. Additionally, the recommendations do not consider the potential impact of external factors such as geopolitical risks, changes in regulations, and macroeconomic conditions. The report makes recommendations based on the information gathered but fails to accoiunt for possible changes in government policies and regulations that may affect Mixmag’s expansion in the proposed markets. Therefore, to mitigate these limitations, Mixmag should conduct further research to validate these findings and gather additional insights into local markets’ specifics. The company should also prepare contingency plans to mitigate external risks and adapt its strategy as necessary.
Reflection on Professional Development
I used Gibb’s reflective cycle to reflect on my professional development in regards to this consultancy project.
For this project, I chose Mixmag, a company that I would like to work for in the future. Mixmag is a UK-based media company that primarily focuses on electronic dance music (EDM) and club culture. The company has been in operation for many years and has established itself as a leading authority in the world of electronic music. Despite its success in the UK and Europe, Mixmag has yet to expand into other regions, such as Asia and the Middle East, where there is a significant market for EDM. Therefore, the issue that I identified was the potential challenges and opportunities that Mixmag may face while expanding into new countries, and recommended regions that the company can either make an entrance or expand internally.
To address this issue, I conducted a comprehensive analysis using various analytical tools such as the PESTEL framework, which helped me to identify the political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors that may affect Mixmag’s expansion plans. The resulting consultancy report presented recommendations for Mixmag’s successful expansion into new countries, including a thorough analysis of the potential risks, challenges, and opportunities, along with strategies for overcoming these challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities.
This consultancy project provided an opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge and practical skills gained throughout the course to a real-world business problem. The project allowed for the development and utilization of research, analysis, and project management skills to address the organizational issue of Mixmag’s expansion into new countries. Before working on the project, I was happy and impressed that I would be engaging in a new activity that would enhance my skills. However, when I started researching to identify the organizational issue I would focus on, I was frustrated because it was so demanding. Similarly, the research process kept me frustrated because of the limited data available to explore the topic of interest with the company chosen. After finishing my project, I feel impressed because I managed to make a step.
The good thing with the project was that I was working on a real issue that focused on improving my problem-solving and analytical skills. Thus, I focused on the positives because I knew I would manage in the end. The challenging issue with the research was limited data to explore the issue.
In addition to the development of research and analytical skills, this project also allowed for the development of professional and personal effectiveness skills such as communication, collaboration, and time management. I had to work collaboratively with my supervisor to complete tasks within the set deadlines, ensuring effective communication and coordination. I had to do research based on my strengths and skills and ensure that I was working towards achieving the project’s objectives. I also had to ensure that I considered Mixmag’s strengths and weaknesses when exploring potential markets, and before providing the recommendations.
I completed the project successfully because I applied critical thinking and problem-solving skills to develop a market entry strategy that considers the company’s strengths and weaknesses and local market specifics. I had to evaluate various market entry modes, including joint ventures, acquisitions, and greenfield investments, and recommend the most appropriate one for Mixmag’s expansion. I also had to consider issues such as regulatory compliance, cultural differences, and competition, and develop strategies to address them. Overall, my commitment and resilience increased the chances of completing the project on time. The project required me to take responsibility for initiating and controlling my own work and learning experience. I had to manage my time and resources effectively and stay focused on achieving my objectives. I had to set goals and objectives, monitor my progress, and make necessary adjustments to ensure that I was on track. I also had to be adaptable and flexible, as new challenges and issues emerged during the project.
I learned that taking responsibility and setting goals are crucial for every research. Consultancy work is critical and focuses on addressing real issues affecting different organizations. Through research, companies can get adequate insight into opportunities around the globe they can exploit. The project also allowed for the development of professional and personal effectiveness skills such as communication, collaboration, and time management
Since I focused on secondary research, I would incorporate primary research through surveys to obtain and compare both primary and secondary data. Moreover, I would consult with Mixmag to get specific organizational issue from them that can enable me collaborate with them during research.
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