| 18 Jun 2024
We started off with an intention to support unique independent artists: Gurpreet Singh

MUMBAI: A young enterprising entrepreneur and music enthusiast, Co-Founder and COO Gurpreet Singh spearheads One Digital Entertainment, India’s largest digital video and creator network. Launched just five years ago, they are known for specializing in content across entertainment, music, food, comedy, fashion and lifestyle. 

Gurpreet co-founded One Digital Entertainment in 2013, which currently has an unbeaten repertoire of managing a whopping 1000+ creators and five billion watched minutes of content every month only on YouTube.

Singh, who comes with over 16 years of elaborate experience in the music and digital entertainment space, gives us insights into the nature of the business.

He shares, “We started off with an intention to support unique independent artists who initially wouldn’t get the resources that they deserved. Today we have grown to work with not only these commendable independent artists but also some of the biggest record labels that exist. Initially starting off with music we eventually expanded into different genres and diversified to food, fashion, lifestyle, comedy. Growth is one of the major elements of this business that motivates us!"

Not many know that, One Digital Entertainment is the first company in India to scout and groom talent on the digital platform. From talent-mining to assisting them with in-house production facilities like content creating and packaging, the company looks into the distribution, syndication and monetization for their clients too.

He further explains the procedure on how One Digital Entertainment helps music artists, “There are multiple teams of dedicated people working behind our talents. The entertainment ecosystem consists of quite a few factors that need to be taken in to consideration. Starting with identifying the target audience and then creating content accordingly, we look at bespoke execution plans for our artists. There is no set text book model; we work according to the need of the artists, the market, audience etc. Nothing happens overnight and a lot of R&D goes into it. ”

On the company facing the challenges, Gurpreet Singh adds, “It’s more challenging for us when it comes to helping artists to make money, so that they can still survive and keep creating great content. We do whatever is possible from our side. There is so much talent out there that demands just treatment. In the early days, Independent music artists had it much tougher than today. I was kind of obsessed with fostering them because I knew the space would grow tremendously. All they needed were resources. Today, the scenario is so much evolved and am sure it’s only going to grow bigger. As a matter of fact, the audience is responding quite well not just to the individual artists but also to packaged music properties.”

Gurpeet has also co-curated properties like MTV spoken word that featured artists like Badshah, Raftaar, Guru Randhawa etc. to support the independent hip hop scene, apart from conceptualizing and creating India’s first hip hop podcast in collaboration with Saavn called Hip Hop Highway. He has enabled the distribution of over 1000 independent tracks over the last year across various digital platforms for artists like Papon, Badshah, Shekhar Ravjiani, Raftaar, Akriti Kakkar, Gippy Grewal, Amrinder Gill, Euphoria, Prajakta Koli and India’s biggest YouTuber Bhuvan Bam as well.

Even though he empowers artists to release their music independently, simultaneously Gurpreet has also been instrumental in helping set up digital revenue models for several record labels such as Speed Records, Humble Music, Whitehill Music, Eskay Records, Brand B, Amplify Music to name a few. 

Ask him about how he manages to work well with two extreme end points of the same industry and he laughs, “I am not biased towards any particular genre or type, I am only biased towards music itself. Be it Independent artists or record labels, if I can cater to the music industry’s need in anyway, you will find me there! Today, we work with major music platforms like Apple Music, Saavn, Hungama, iTunes, Gaana, MTV and at the same time have close associations with record labels like Zee Music, T-Series, Venus and so many others. The amalgamation of Independent artists and record labels is unfolding beautifully and we are personally quite excited for the road ahead.”

Upon asking him about his take on branded content in the music industry, he reminisces, “Brands today are very excited about associating closely with music and artists. One such example of some amazing synergies between brands and an artist is Raftaar. We have been able to rope in multiple brands including Vodafone, Micromax, Breezer, Lakme, Domino’s, Huawei, Tinder etc for branded associations, making rapper Raftaar possibly one of the highest paid musicians in the branded content category. We also did a deal with Vodafone for his independent single ‘Instagram Love’ which could probably be a classic example of a brand funded content while still letting an artist retain the IP”

About his business mantra, “As long as you are loving the journey towards your goals and keep reinventing consistently, sooner or later all the hard work will pay off for sure”

Lastly, Gurpreet Singh also revealed about his company jointly producing digital musical property titled Lockdown with Badshah featuring artists like Raftaar, Badshah, Sachin Jigar, Kailash Kher, Monali Thakur, Mickey Singh, Shirley Setia, Rajakumari, Neha Bhasin, Hardy Sandhu and many others and also shared that they would love to aid for more of such musical format shows.