RadioandMusic
| 22 Jul 2019
Bookmyshow is looking at a 30 per cent hike in the next year: Junaid Shaikh

Bookmyshow strategic development AGM Junaid Shaikh

Tell us more about the journey of Bookmyshow (BMS)?

There were many international gigs already taking place in India when we started with Big Tree Entertainment. It was then we understood the potential of the market and we started selling gig tickets, at that time there was no Internet eco-system in existence and there was no stability in the credit card mechanism in the country. Mostly, ticket sales took place over the telephone. In 2007, we realised it was the right time for us to get into a space, as there were many large format events that were taking place in India. The same year, Sunburn debuted as a big music festival in the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) space, which was very niche at the time.

How has the year been so far for Bookmyshow?

2014 has been really great.  Since the start of the events season; it contributed to about five to six per cent of BookmyshowÆs revenue. We are still a month away from completing the season, yet we have had some good results. Our season does not work according to the financial calendar but works from January to December, looking at that we have already grown around eight to nine per cent. It is pretty decent for us.

Apart from music events, we have seen interesting trends in sporting events this year. Earlier, we had IPL as a league for seven to eight years, compared to new formats like Pro-Kabaddi and ISL (Indian Super League), taking shape. It is very exciting to see fan enthusiasm for these sports. This has helped businesses to grow.

What is happening on the music front?

Music festivals are a rage among the youth. EDM is definitely at a peak and it contributes to about 60 per cent of the complete space. Big names in the dance music space like Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, Hardwell, Paul van Dyk, Tiesto and Avicii have come to India. Few of the top 10 DJs have come to India repeatedly, and this is mainly because of the fan following here in this particular space.

It is also good to see that EDM is picking up very well not just in A tier cities but in the B tier cities as well. That is a very interesting trend for us. We always thought this type of music is niche but it seems to have mass following.

Have you seen any growth in the Bollywood music space?

We have not seen any growth in the Bollywood space, but we have seen few organisers trying to experiment with Bollywood music. The organisers are trying to add pep to the Bollywood trends. Earlier, there were regular concerts or gigs, but now things are changing in the space. Percept Live and Live Viacom 18 have started a new vertical under their set of brands called æBollyboomÆ and æBollylandÆ respectively. It is fusion of Bollywood music and EDM. Both properties are in the nascent stage, but will definitely pick-up.

How much have you grown this year in terms of user base?

Our customer base has seen a growth of about 20 per cent, in terms of fan followers for various festivals and acts, compared to 2013. This means that people, who were not part of any festivals or music genres, were building their taste for music.

What kind of music has seen growth in terms of ticket sales?

The EDM genre is definitely growing, which is followed by experimental and Indie music which is gaining popularity every day. Experimental and Indie music is popular amongst the age group of 16 to 20. This genre is promoted largely by OML.

Have you tied up with any new partners?

Typically, the market is dominated by a few organisers like Percept, Viacom 18 and OML. They are controlling the space but they have been adding new brand names too. Earlier, it was Sunburn now there is Bollyboom and Windsong added by Percept. That is how they are experimenting with music and trying to create properties in and around those forms.

IMG Reliance is a new entrant into the space and they have an IP which is a mix fashion and dance music. Recently, they hosted æMyntra Fashion WeekendÆ at Palladium and we were very excited to understand the way people react to such kind of formats.

What is the competition like in the e-ticketing space?

We dominate close to about 90 per cent of the space. One strong reason for our domination is the belief organisers have in Bookmyshow, as we have a database of 10 million users. It is not just about the size but the insights, interest and liking of our customers. We really understand all of them, so it helps us to provide curated content to our customers. This is BookmyshowÆs strength.

What are your plans around the Bookmyshow app?

We are focussing more on mobile as that is the next destination for growth. We have seen that more than 50 per cent traffic on Bookmyshow is contributed from the mobile application. Through the space, we are looking at partnerships that help source more traffic to the mobile application. That is our strategy going forward. In fact, we have already partnered with Micromax to provide Bookmyshow as pre-loaded app on the devices.

The Indian music industry is fluctuating in terms of growth. Do you think e-ticketing services for music business will grow?

The complete e-commerce trend is fascinating. Along with entertainment, online retail store is also booming right now. Coming back to event space, we have tapped into only metros right now, which are Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru; and Hyderabad and Chennai to a certain extent. The next thing most organisers are trying to do is curate small tours for tier II cities like Pune, Nagpur, Vizag and Chandigarh. Right now, we have captured metro cities. With internet penetration further and deeper in the market, it will then empower B tier and C tier cities to come into the picture.

Do you have a promotion plan in place for these cities?

Yes, we do have a plan in place. Currently, we are trying to understand the different dimensions of the market as well. It is too early to give further details as it is confidential.

What are the various trends that you have seen in music genre and buying patterns of tickets?

The most important change we have seen is in the attribute and behaviour of consumers which differs from region to region. If you look at Bangalore, seven to eight years ago, rock and metal music was a more preferred genre of music. If you see the same region again, it enjoys Indie and electronic music. Mumbai, on the other hand, is very neutral as the city enjoys comedy, Indie, electronic and fusion music. NCR as a region promoted talents like Sonu Nigam, Shaan, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan live in concert, which was at a peak four to five years back. Again, EDM music has picked up really well and Jazz and Blues as a genre is doing very well. Pune is driven by youth so trance, psychedelic trance and EDM are preferred by them. However, pop artistes like Yo Yo Honey Singh and Mika Singh are really welcomed and the sales of tickets are high when they are performing.

The purchase behaviour has also changed. In places, like Mumbai the concert ticket prices have gone up. It could be as high as Rs 13,000 to Rs 15,000 and festival prices have gone as high has Rs 20,000.  That is the kind of change or movement that we have seen in the space.

What is the expectation for 2015?

Compared to last year, we have had a 20 per cent spike this year, so we are looking at a hike of 30 per cent in the coming year.

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Junaid Shaikh started working with the company Big Tree Entertainment since its inception when he was 18 years old. With over 11 years in the company, he understands the e-ticketing business very well, especially the music sector. He spoke to Radioandmusic.comÆs Jescilia Karayamparambil about how the year 2014 was.