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Published by:
INSEAD (2017)
12 pages
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André Rieu


For several decades, the classical music industry has been in decline with demand down, costs up and profits shrinking as many orchestras struggle for survival. Against this backdrop, Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra stand apart. Instead of competing like all the other orchestras, Andre Rieu has reconstructed market boundaries between classical music and pop concerts, creating a blue ocean of vast new demand. Rieu and his orchestra have stayed on the Billboard Top 25 Tours list for nearly 2 decades, right alongside the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber. His CDs and DVDs have sold more than 40 million copies versus 10,000 copies for a top classical music CD. This case reviews the competitive practice of the classical music industry and illustrates how Andre Rieu gained insight into unlocking new demand by looking to noncustomers of classical concerts, and how Rieu reconstructed industry boundaries and created new market space, making the competition irrelevant. The case comes with a teaching note that reviews major concepts and frameworks of competitive strategy and blue ocean strategy in the context of the case and provides answers to the questions for class discussions. Additional case material includes a lecture slide pack, and two short videos for educators (link in ‘Extra information’ section).


Differentiation strategy; Value innovation; International business; Benchmarks; Customers; Value creation; Blue Ocean Strategy; Strategy; Creating markets; Classical music; Declining industry; Entertainment; Non-customers; Demand creation; Market reconstruction
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