| 28 Nov 2023
2016 will be a year of scale for us: Times Music COO Mandar Thakur

MUMBAI: The Music IP management wing of the Times of India group - Times Music - extended its licensing deal with California-based publishing company Warner/Chappell Music at the start of this month. The deal ensured another multi-year partnership with the two parties involved, thus allowing the Indian music label to further extend its partner’s catalogue in Indian subcontinent.

Warner/Chappell – who hired Paul Khan as the new EVP at the end of 2015 - boasts an impressive catalogue of some of the most recognisable names including Beyonce, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton and more. Times Music will enter the markets of the neighbouring countries – Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh – with the existing catalogue and the COO of Times Music, Mandar Thakur, cites the three-year-long successful partnership as the major reason for Warner/Chappell’s continued trust in the Mumbai-based company. “Extending the partnership and penetrating into neighbouring regions was the logical next-step for both of us. Speaking strictly on the cultural nature, these markets are very similar to the Indian market,” said Thakur.

“There would be obvious economic differences and Times Music’s approach towards the respective markets would vary accordingly,” added Thakur. Asked on what mechanisms would be implemented to operate and generate revenues from these markets, Thakur explained, “We would work with Warner/Chappell on finding a way to that. Right now, it’s too early to reveal anything. All I can say is, Times Music understands the space very well, and we will manage to replicate the success shown in Indian ecosystem.”

Thakur further could not reveal the Warner/Chappell’s side of business towards the new (or extended) collective effort, but revealed no ‘reverse deal’ was involved in the extended partnership.

With the deal in the bag, Times Music would continue its attention towards the organizational goals set for the year, and Thakur believes 2016 would be a year of scale for the eighteen-year-old organisation. “This year, we have shifted the direction to broader forms of music. Independent or alternative music space will be one of our priorities, but 2016 will be the year of scale for us. We have been speaking to multiple labels, and the further penetration into Bollywood, Tamil and Telugu industries would, in a way, occupy our regional activities in 2016."

Times Music’s latest Bollywood effort comes through Nagesh Kukonoor-directed ‘Dhanak’ as the music distributor. "Dhanak will be one of the many to come, and the same extends to southern industries," concluded Thakur.