RadioandMusic
| 15 Dec 2019
Sony Music IndiaÆs sync biz sees quintuple growth in two years

MUMBAI: Music label Sony Music India, which has a strong hold in Bollywood and regional music, has seen quintuple growth over the last two years in its sync business for music content comprising Bollywood, regional and international.

Apart from this, the label’s growth story in India has also been led by streaming and download for international content.

Speaking to Radioandmusic.com, Sony Music India head international music Arjun Sankalia said, “Over the last three to four years, there has been an increase in sync business for international content in India. Most of the ad agencies are taking the route of international agencies, which is also a reason why the business is growing year-on-year.”

“For us, sync has grown massively year-on-year. It has grown five times in the last two years,” he added.

Popular music for sync includes the Close-up ad, which has used ‘Titanium’ by David Guetta and a commercial featuring Priyanka Chopra, which features a song by Frank Sinatara.

Sankalia added, “There is a growing interest seen in use of international songs. Currently, we are talking to Bollywood producers who are interested in using international songs in their films.”

In regional content, Badshah’s ‘Saturday Saturday’ was used in Tuborg in Indian ad and ‘Kolaveri Di’ was used by Coke Cola Turkey in one of their ad films.

Apart from this, the company has also decided to further strengthen its standing in international content. Lately, the label has been launching new marketing innovations with the release of each international single released in the country.

Commenting on the growing consumption of international content, which is mostly taking place through music streaming sites, Sankalia said, “Over the last three to four years, the availability of international content has grown, considering there have been transition from physical to digital.”

Sankalia also asserted that while the audience for international content has always been there, they have now become more active in consumption of content through digital platforms like Saavn, Gaana, Hungama, and other such services. Sony Music India has been actively involved with various streaming services for innovative promotions. For instance, in the case of Indian content, the label released music of the film ‘Khamoshiyan’ exclusively on Saavn and also partnered with Hungama for the launch of single Badshah’s ‘DJ Waley Babu.’

The label, which also represents One Direction in India, has been relentlessly promoting the four-piece band through social media. “The promotional activity carried out in March reached a good number of people. Through these continuous activities, we are trying to engage with fans of the band in India,” added Sankalia.

Yet another sensational artist for whom the label developed special plans for was Britney Spears. Her recently released her singles are - ‘Where are you now?’ and ‘Pretty Girls.’ A social media contest was held, wherein the winner received official merchandise, which created a buzz around the new singles of the ‘Baby one more time’ singer. A special tie-up was also inked with social media fashionista - Sherry Shroff, who created a video highlighting the look of Spears in the ‘Pretty Girls’ video and asked netizens to participate on the contest and get a chance to go to see Spears’ play live.

Sony Music also promoted the music by Wiz Khalifa ‘See You Again ft. Charlie Puth,’ which was aimed at promoting the ‘Furious 7’ soundtracks. Even one month post release, the song was still leading across all platforms in India and was amongst the top five songs on downloads and streaming websites.

Sankalia added that the target audience was not only international music audience but also mainstream audiences, and it worked. In a bid to connect with the Hindi-speaking audiences, Sony Music created local content - a video featuring Ali Fazal, which was a tribute to the late Paul Walker.

“We knew that the ‘Furious’ franchise is massive in India and we were in touch with local distributors to keep a track of the theatres it was screened in. Understanding the response, we decided to take a Bollywood approach in some manner for the song,” Sankalia informed.

Sony Music promoted the track after the film was released.

As the film was dubbed in four different languages, Sony Music India had expected the song to have higher reach compared to other international songs as it was used in a movie. Sankalia pointed, “The reason the track reached large audiences was the interaction around music and the film in English movie channels, which later moved to Hindi movie channels too.”

What’s more, Sony Music India is gearing up with bigger plans for Q4, which is a “big season” for the music company. Big names like One Direction, Iron Maiden, David Gilmour and others will be the focus of the company over the coming months.

“This will be very important and interesting quarter,” Sankalia said.

The label has organised ‘Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls’ album first listen and tribute gig at blueFrog, which will kick start the promotion around Iron Maiden’s 16th studio album. The gig also features a documentary screening of Flight 666 and a tribute performance by Devoid & Friends.

In case of Ed Sheeran, Sony Music India witnessed a growing consumption for his latest album ‘X,’ during his India tour, which in turn made it a chart topper in India.

Speaking on the connection of sales and tours, Sankalia said, “During tour of an artist or DJ, music consumption across medium witness a boost. However, streaming continues to dominate. The artist or DJ is in the news and a huge level of curiosity is created.”

Throwing light on the India market for music, Sankalia is of the opinion that the Indian market is inclined towards European music. “I would say India has been partial to dance music as it is not heavily dependent on lyrics. Naturally, dance music has the feature to travel without any barrier as it is not lyrically restricted,” he added.

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