Warner acquires catalogue of Indonesian independent label ISS

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The catalogue of leading Indonesian independent label, PT Indo Semar Sakti (ISS), has been acquired by Warner Music Group.

As part of the deal, thousands of songs by local artists will be digitised for the first time.

The buyout is Warner’s sixth major non-US acquisition in the past three years, following its ingestion of Parlophone Label Group (2013), Russia’s Gala Records (2013), South Africa’s Gallo Records (2013), China’s Gold Typhoon (2014) and Poland’s Polskie Nagrania (2015).


ISS was founded in 1974 and its constituent record labels are Aruna, Billboard, Bulletin and Granada Records.

Their combined rosters include more than 40 local superstars from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.

Names include 2D, Kris Biantoro, 3 Dara, Rien Djamain, Chris Kaihatu, Ita Purnamasari (pictured, left), Ermy Kullit (pictured, right), Utha Likumahua, Paramitha Rusady, Margi Segers, Yuni Shara, Cici Sumiati, Lilis Suryani, Bob Tutupoly and Johan Untung.

The deal adds to WMG’s existing operations in Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and a fast-growing music market that has previously been plagued by piracy.

Recorded music industry revenues in the country climbed by 24.2% in 2015, driven by digital growth of almost 70%, according to figures from the IFPI. 

Apple Music, Deezer and Guvera are amongst the licensed streaming services operating in Indonesia, alongside a number of local platforms including Langit Musik and MelOn.

The ISS acquisition expands WMG’s reach in Asia, following the purchase of the artist roster and recorded music catalogue of Gold Typhoon Group, one of the largest independent music companies in China, in April 2014.

“Digital technology is opening up incredible opportunities in Indonesia. This deal strengthens our position there, enabling us to help preserve Indonesia’s strong musical heritage by bringing this repertoire to new generations of music fans.”

simon robson, warner music asia

Simon Robson, President, Warner Music Asia, said: “Digital technology is opening up incredible opportunities in Indonesia, where previously piracy hindered our ability to invest in local music. 

“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.”


Stu Bergen, CEO, International and Global Commercial Services for Warner Music Group, added: “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. 

“This deal will enable us to create new opportunities for artists in Indonesia and extend our reach in Asia, underscoring our determination to accelerate our global growth.”

Led by Bergen, Warner has been busy with international expansion in recent years.

As well as the Gold Typhoon purchase and integration of Parlophone Label Group into WMG, Bergen has overseen strategic acquisitions such as Polskie Nagrania in Poland and Gala Records in Russia, and the buy-out of Gallo Records’ share of a joint venture with Warner Music in South Africa.

Music Business Worldwide

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