Compilation: JKT48 in Business and Marketing Perspective


another fans who found sanctuary in FX 4th floor by being some smart aleck

43 Responses

  1. Haddad deserves a lot of credit for this compilation. It provides a comprehensive overview of the discussions around JKT48 and its management. The fact that the essays are compiled in a chronological order easily provides us a glimpse of how the discourse has or has not changed in the past 1.5 years.

    Widi Asmoro’s essay reiterates a point that I have considered in the past. While he describes the phenomenon he observed as peer pressure, I believe it more reflects the Indonesian social pattern of ikut-ikutan. While this is similar to peer pressure, it is more of a passive phenomenon because the affected person is flooded with awareness of the cause rather than being directly influenced by supporters of the cause. It reflects a desire to follow the current social trend.

    It will be interesting to find out whether Dentsu’s marketing strategy will be adopted by other media agencies in Indonesia. Dentsu Indonesia’s CEO Harris Thajeb was re-elected as chairman of the Indonesian Association of Advertising Agencies in March, the company will continue to influence the market for the next five years.

    • Haddad says:

      Thank you RHKillis! :-D
      that’s exactly what I had in mind the first time I had the idea in creating this article. Over the past 1.5 years, it would be strange that nobody from the business area started to notice that JKT48 isn’t just an idol group, but also a good business that grows exponentially because they supported with shrewd tactics and experienced planner.

  2. Tomo says:

    Simply saying, 48 business is “franchise” business.

    • Haddad says:

      The first time I saw the indirect connection between JKT48 and Harry Tanoe when thay announced the formation of the group, I was like “WTH… they think this is some kind of franchise or something?” :lol:

      • Tomo says:

        Haddad san. Is Harry san, CEO of MNC, correct?I heard that MNC is the franchisee of AKS supporting Dentsu. Groccery (the 48 songs list) was provided for the local franchisee such as Sakae, Nagoya, Nanba, Osaka and Hakata, Fukuoka. Then Jakarta. Please don’t missunderstand. As always I love the girls. I’ve just talked about business aspect.

        • Haddad says:

          No worries, I understand what you meant. I’m following the story of Harry Tanoe and the MNC group since, who wouldn’t Interested to the guys who successfully show Doraemon in Indonesian Television for more than 20 years. :lol:

          • Tomo says:

            Oh, Haddad san. Really? Has MNC’s televison (probably RCTI) been brodcasting Doraemon for over 20 years? I can see Harry san has been intrested in the entertainment things in Japan. BTW, I said that 48 business is franchise business. But MNC and AKS are equal partner. Don’t missunderstand. More. BIMA also will be brodcasted soon by RCTI, correct? Again this serial happnings are generated by Dentsu with MNC, I guess. I read the interview with Harrry san on one Japanese news paper. He said that MNC will conquer the market with Dentsu. Is it too much exaggerated? Or is he such kind of a person?

          • Haddad says:

            regarding to that question, I believe KageTora and RHKillis are more knowledgable than me. So, I’ll wait until one of them say something about this. And while waiting for that, you could read a brief article that RHKillis write about Harry Tanoe in here ->

          • Buddy says:

            that’s right Tomo san RCTI has broadcast Doraemon for over 20 years and they will start to broadcast BIMA at June 30, 2013. I think Hary Tanoe is very ambitious person same like Aburizal Bakrie who own local television network (ANTV and TV One). Them both not only want to conquer the market but they also want to be president of Indonesia in the future.

          • Tomo-san,

            Doraemon has indeed been airing in Indonesia for over 20 years. RCTI was Indonesia’s first privately owned television network, and as far as I know Doraemon has always been in its line-up. Doraemon, Ksatria Baja Hitam (Kamen Rider Black), and Bima are all broadcast by RCTI. Bima’s time slot is scheduled immediately following Doraemon on Sunday mornings.

            To clarify the corporate hierarchy, JKT48 is under the management of PT Dentsu Indonesia Inter Admark, which is a subsidiary of PT Global Mediacom Tbk (MNC Media). Another subsidiary is PT Media Nusantara Citra Tbk (MNC), which in turn owns PT Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia (RCTI).

            Dentsu Indonesia’s CEO is the chairman of the Indonesian Association of Advertising Agencies, so it is entirely possible that Hary Tanoe (Media Nusantara Citra’s CEO) can make such a claim because the group has a stake in every corner of the media market.

          • Tomo says:

            In Japan, the corpotation of AKS withDents became the “beautiful” story. Many people related to this business says that, at the time, AKS implored Dentsu to support 48 project, the department of Dentsu consisted of poor and not-well-working emploees. But they gradually made AK48 to be a big star group. It sounds like “succes story”. When we talked about this story with my colleagus, we can easily think this (probably artficially created) story is the story to encourage salary-persons in this country. Too much plainly. Because 48 has a huge amount of fans over 30 to 50 years old saraly-persons at Karaoke category of Japanese music industry. For your information, Karaoke segment enjoys approx. 45% (as of 2008) of entire Japanese music inductry, Karaoke segment goes over than the total of CD and DVD sales, net distribution, mobile phone distribution and concert tickets sales. Then “Heavy Rotation” , “Aitakkata” and “Kimi Suki” are the best singing sogs(If my memory is correc). I don’t say that this Karaoke achievement of 48 can not be done by Dentsu’s beautiful story. The most valueable music artist related to 48 business is Inoue Yoshimasa san. Especially the great song writer for the beggining part of AKB48. Sometimes we tend to focus onto biz, part and also Akimoto san too much. But please don’t forget many talented song wrting and arraging artists of 48 music successful, happy, catchy and dancable songs. When we hear JKT48 songs, don’t you think to sing along with JKT48 and dance with the girls?

          • You bring up a good point with regards to the songs themselves, Tomo-san. Let me give you some background.

            Karaoke is indeed also popular in Indonesia, but that market seems to be slowly declining. Historically, karaoke in Indonesia is usually found in upscale Chinese restaurants often frequented by the ethnic Chinese. Chinese Indonesians ages 40-60 have popularized this medium of entertainment in the 1990s, thus knowledge of Mandarin Chinese songs was more common in the public in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While karaoke locations have since expanded beyond Chinese restaurants, the market does not seem to be growing. Fewer people are spending their time going to karaoke, even among the generation that popularized it in the first place.

            With regards to the songs specifically, most observations I have read online indicates that there is a certain disconnect between the symbolism used in 48 group songs and symbolism that is familiar in Indonesian culture. Even the recent translation “River” does not seem to present a cohesive message of what it is trying to convey. Another example is “Hikoukigumo”, which refers to airplane contrails, but Indonesians rarely see this in their skies, which are instead either filled with pollution, volcanic cloud, or monsoon clouds. To that effect, something is indeed lost in the translation, which may affect whether or not the public will become attached to the songs.

          • Tomo says:

            Hi Richrdson san. Appreciate for your comprehensive explanation. So regarding the lyrics of JKT48 songs, can almost of all Indonesian not imagine, grasp and comprehend what the songs want to convey? Does it depend on the ambitious try to translate Japanese lyrics into Indonesian not using so many Japanese words or Enhlish words? According to my small knowledge, the lyrics of JKT48 use Japanese words such as “Aitakatta”, and “Sakura” in “Boku no Sakura”, “Sayonara” in “Hikoukigumo” only. Yes, “Heavy Rotaton” uses English words. But I believe this is the good thought. As you can see, all of the almost audiences for JKT48 are Indonesian people. I suppose that the translator try to translate sentences freely. But the way to adopt the suitable words which can fit melody lines is highly difficult I expect. BTW some my friends in RI told me the lyric of “Ponytail” is the most beautiful and can be easily understand. Are there many people who can think so in JKT48Syff? I wonder.

          • Tomo-san,

            I’m afraid I can’t exactly describe what makes the lyrics incomprehensible to Indonesians because it’s somewhat difficult to words. Pop songs in Indonesia today are very direct in expressing their message, possibly a reflection of the current culture influenced by heavy usage of slang language. On the other hand, AKB48 songs translated into Indonesian uses a mixture of colloquial and formal terms, as well as phrases whose meaning is lost when translated directly. The inclusion of symbolism (such as the eponymous “River”) further complicates the translation process.

            I do agree that keeping some words in its original form is good for the songs themselves. JKT48’s “River” strikes a good balance with this compared to SNH48’s “River”, which includes quite messy English in its prelude.

  3. Gonjack says:

    Marketing perspective always make Me unconfortable to see social phenomenon because there are a lot judgement, ignoring all intention of the subject except commercialisation and commodification, I think 48 things in Indonesia, especially JKT48 things, was become growing more than just a business.

    • Haddad says:

      ah, yes. the grey and grey morality of a business. But then, even if you say so, from other perspective, one could say that business is another form of a way to survive in modern times. And JKT48 is just that good as a business.
      Nevertheless, us as a fan of JKT48 itself had a choice from the start, whether we want to see them as a human and draw and inspiration to reach your dream from them OR we could ignore anything that made them a human, see them as, pardon my choice of words, “a commodity” and treat them anything we like. And I believe, the choice that we take is what separates us from a heartless capitalist

  4. Angga says:

    My right brain telling me, these are the creative process to stardom . My left brain telling me, these are the correct way to market your commodities/products :lol:

    Thank you very much for your hard work to compiled and translated all these articles Haddad!

  5. Pitra says:

    Wow.. thank you Haddad for the compilation. Learn something new now from different perspective other than mine :P

    JKT48 is a great bussiness. I’m sure even the AKB48 management knew about this. The fans are great. The sales potential are great. Though there’s still a problem in sustainability. Theater’s cost is expensive (theater space rent, recording, practice rent space, staffs, lighting, etc). I don’t think it can be sustained by just selling theater’s ticket and merchandises. Let’s hope the management can be more creative in creating solutions to gain profit from this.

    • Angga says:

      Sustainability is exactly my sentiments. Aside from high theater’s cost; their astronomical scale project maintenance cost (including human resources) makes me think that currently, they don’t even reached B.E.P yet to be honest.

      And somehow, we have fans who said JKT48 have enough money with theater attendance alone (aka Cut the merchandise price! Hire an official video subber!) which makes me cringe every time I read that.

      • Angga, are you sure that they haven’t reach BEP yet? I agree with you that the maintenance costs are very high, especially to maintain the members as the main capital of the business.

        As an accountant, actually I’m very interested with the financial aspects of JKT48, which until now remains a mystery to all of us. And I’m wondering, did they pay tax properly? This whole JKT48 project is already a big and growing business now, sooner or later it will get the attention from the tax or other government officials.

      • Haddad says:

        It’s actually normal that some company didn’t reach B.E.P in their first financial year. the most common occurrence is that some of them didn’t reach B.E.P for the first two or three financial years, heck even I’ve seen the financial statement of company that finally reached profit in the fifth year.

        You could say that JKT48 exponential growth in popularity didn’t followed by its financial aspects. But, I think this is where actually JKT48 differs from the other Indonesian Entertainers, in terms of business. In Indonesia it’s common to see a business (or entertainer) with “follow the leader” or “get as many profit as the trend lasts” model (or in Bahasa Indonesia “Aji mumpung”). While, JKT48 is set to become an everlasting brand that transcending its trend. It doesn’t matter if you incur some lossess financially in the first two years, since basically that’s the time where you’re setting the foundation to differentiate yourself from the others. That’s why, If you observe the behavior of JOT, it looks like as if something is holding them back in doing everything they want to promote the girls.

  6. eyelessdemon says:

    I dunno how to say this but, i apologize for what i’ve done, which was making the indnesian subtitle of jkt48 in anta dare video. As you know, some of the dialogs were directly copied from japarta & angga ‘s translations, without any special credits. Now I really feel guilty because of this :cry: . Please accept my deepest apology. I will do anything for the responsibility.

    • Angga says:

      Actually, I have no beef at all with what you were doing and in fact supported your effort into making a timed subtitle and even thanked you for that.

      What I really regret is for you to omitted Japarta’s name from your timed subtitle. Japarta literally worked his ass off in translating the video, so isn’t it harsh for him to find his translation being chopped off here and there without any acknowledgement to his effort?

      I’m fine without JKT48Stuff being credited, but at least credit Japarta for his work :)

      That being said, I still do hope you continue your creativity in making timed subtitle. But please, don’t forget crediting those who made the translation. For an example in your case, you could add :

      Translation by Japarta
      Timing by EyelessDemon

      Isn’t that more nice to read and see? ;) . Who knew, maybe in the future we could all work together in creating soft/hard subs, right?

      That’s all that I could say right now, I will let Japarta know about your message to him and I think he will reply to your message first thing in the morning. I hope :)


      Sorry for hijacking your article Haddad.. Please dear gentlemen, continue the discussion :)

      • Tokyo Pop says:

        The gentle man humbly admitted his mistake,he is a very genuine person. Going back to our “2ch”in Japan,you can’t expect such politeness and respect. I would say there’s a major difference between both fandoms.

        I envy this steady communication among JKT48 fans, and I respect it.

    • Japarta says:

      eyelessdemon san,

      I will post my message for you in my article,
      please move to above.

    • Haddad says:

      Alright! now that Japarta has spoken, I’m happy it didn’t take long to wrap things up. Let’s keep making a sharing community with mutual respect :-D :-D

  7. PN03 says:

    Someone can answer why JOT using JKT48 “project” in their release?

  8. misterjohn says:

    good article :)
    IMO jkt48 owe alot from smash or 7icons, because they are the one who really take a risk in indonesian music world which at that time being occupied by malay pop band.
    they prove that pop dance group is working in indonesian music, stopping the malay pop trend.
    they are the one who open the path. preparing indonesian people to be ready for similar group that keep coming, including jkt48
    i dont think dentsu and mnc will brave enough to invest their money forming jkt48 if indonesian music still filled with malay pop band :lol:
    its ironic many jkt48 fans despise those kpop wanna be group, but without them maybe even there is no jkt48 :lol:

    • Cl4p Trap says:

      “its ironic many jkt48 fans despise those kpop wanna be group, but without them maybe even there is no jkt48”- your own assumption and its WRONG!!!

      • Haddad says:

        Now, that’s Interesting topic. Could you give us some more elaborate explanation?
        Since I also thought that the growing korean-style Idol trends is one of many things that I assumed become the reason why they choose Jakarta first, instead of Bangkok, Thailand or Taipei, Taiwan. :-D

      • misterjohn says:

        easy dude :-D I already saw that survey from japan tv long time ago, maybe early 2012. from Aki-p perspective maybe its the reason he accepted the creation of jkt48. but its the local investor(dentsu and mnc) who offer the joint venture in the first place
        its true jpop fans is larger and more loyal but i think jpop fans is more passive. so they lost from kpop fans in creating buzz among general people. this buzz then lead kpop boom in indonesian music.
        so i take the local investor perspective for my opinion that kpop boom maybe lead the creation of jkt48. afterall kpop and jpop is the same for general people :-D
        if kpop wanna be group can be accepted by general people why not for jpop.
        i cant imagine dentsu and mnc still invest forming jkt48 when kangen,st12,mahkota(melody became a model in one of their mv :-D),bagindas,hijaudaun,vagetoz,the potter etc stil strong in indonesian music and there isn’t any pop dance group like smash,7icons,cherrybelle etc :lol:

        • Cl4p Trap says:

          Well, see for yourself the difference between those other groups fan and JKT, i am emphasize at is if those group you mention exist or not and if there are Kpop boom or not JKT will still survive. JKT owe to Akimoto P and their own fan, period.

  9. Inao-bucho says:

    Richardson Kilis: “To clarify the corporate hierarchy, JKT48 is under the management of PT Dentsu Indonesia Inter Admark, which is a subsidiary of PT Global Mediacom Tbk (MNC Media).”

    @Richardson Kilis
    PT Dentsu Inter Admark Media Group Indonesia is NOT the subsidiary of PT Global Mediacom Tbk.
    PT Dentsu Inter Admark Media Group Indonesia is the subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. (株式会社電通), the advertising and public relations company in Japan. The existence of Dentsu in Indonesia has been since 1975.

    On Wikipedia, it says that PT Global Mediacom Tbk own PT Dentsu Inter Admark Media Group Indonesia. That is completely misleading. Anybody can edit articles on Wiki.
    The fact about PT Dentsu Inter Admark Media Group Indonesia have bank account in BCA KCP MNC Plaza often mislead people to assume that PT Dentsu Inter Admark Media Group Indonesia office is located at MNC Plaza.

    I suggest you to take a close look at:
    – The list of all PT Global Mediacom Tbk subsidiary companies which you can see by reading pages 10-11 of PT Global Mediacom Tbk consolidated financial statements. You can download it from: (
    – The list of global network of Dentsu Inc. in Asia Pacific. You can see it on: (


    22nd Floor, Graha Niaga
    Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 58
    Jakarta 12190, Indonesia
    Tel: (62-21) 2505020
    Fax: (62-21) 2505010

    Key Personnel
    Group CEO/President Director Harris Thajeb
    Group CFO/Finance Director Rumiyati Dharmono
    Chief Consultant Yoshihiro Nagai
    Media Director Rudy Mulyadi
    Media Consultant Masato Ono
    Nature of Business
    Media Agency / Dentsu Group Indonesia management.

    Main Shareholders/Parent Company
    Dentsu Inc.
    1-8-1, Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-7001, Japan

  10. Annie Tjia says:

    A bit off topic, there were some grammar mistakes and typos that kinda bothered me so much. It made me confused to grasp the meaning, so next time please be careful when doing English translation. Thanks.

    Now about the opinion, honestly if JKT48 don’t have any business strategy to “sell” its music in here, can we ensure they will survive the industry? If you ask me, their adopted management from Japan is quite an attraction. If they only sing and dance and just appear beautiful, cute, sexy or such, I wouldn’t have bothered myself to like this group. I’m a woman, for God’s sake! Too much cute younger girls squeezed together as one group will intimidate me to no end. But their concept of idolization, theater, merchandises and fans are something unique even though in fact it’s not new in Japan music industry. But it’s new for Indonesia, it’s luring the curiousity of people, and it’ll be wonder if JKT48 don’t want to use this advantage to the fullest. It’s not like appearing in commercial to promote the brand is an easy job for them. Example for Laurier commercial, how do you think the reaction was? It’s a laughable discussion in international forum by some international AKB48 fans. Many didn’t believe their existance would last long. Personally I even wondered if that’s true or not. Factly, JKT48 shortlh begin to become a trendsetter in Indonesia. They fight for it, not just for the sake of popularity but we can see how every member show their quality as idols in this group (at least for me). They perhaps still are faaaaaarr from reaching the absolute success like AKB48 and other senior sisters, but there’s an advantage of young age. They certainly have enough time to rise and shine. :)

  11. Wingroad says:

    May I used this as a reference of my upcoming Marketing Case in my class? :D

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