Hatsune Miku: Japanese Virtual Idol Ignites Global Value Co-creation Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Crypton Future Media, a company dealing in music software in Sapporo, Japan, developed Hatsune Miku (HM), a singing voice synthesizer software application (Vocaloid). Users entered melodies and lyrics to create tunes, which were then sung by Hatsune Miku, a 16-year old female virtual singer featured on the program packaging.

Initially targeting professionals, HM surprisingly got hold of amateurs who produced lyrics, music, art and videos, which they shared via sites for example the Piapro of Crypton and YouTube, Nico Nico Douga. Users frequently worked collaboratively, and by March 2014, Miku had over 110,000 published songs, 170,000 uploaded videos, 1,000,000 created artworks and approximately two million Facebook "likes." Miku's popularity led to numerous new business opportunities and international media coverage for Crypton. She held sold out "live" concerts world-wide, starred in her own video game series produced by SEGA Games and was "hired" to advertise for companies including Toyota, Google and Domino's Pizza.

Six years after the initial launch chief executive officer, Crypton and it were faced with a succession of challenges related to the future development of their virtual idol along with the businesses that grew around her.Timothy Craig is connected with Doshisha Business School.

PUBLICATION DATE: January 08, 2015 PRODUCT #: W14631-PDF-ENG

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