| 17 Jul 2024
Mandar Thakur: "iTunes isnÆt going to entertain any band from India through Sony or anywhere"

MUMBAI: With the increasing number of digital platforms, music scenario is constantly evolving in India. Renowned artistes like Dhanush and Anirudh (Kolaveri Di fame), Justin Bieber, Shraddha Sharma amongst others, have attained phenomenal success by exploring the new age digital medium.

The heavy inclusion of digital platforms at affordable price has inspired several independent artistes to explore the medium and reach out to masses. Many people believe that digital platforms have fragmented the way music business operates and undermined the role of music label to a large extent, completely obligating the role of Artiste and Repertoire (A&R) within the music label structure.

The success of new age medium is further boosted with the involvement of hi-tech technology which enables artistes to release their material directly on social media without going through any label suit. Disagreeing on labels losing their dominance in the industry, Times Music COO Mandar Thakur noted, “I believe 40 percent of record label industry in India is active in music publishing space. I don’t believe that A&R roles are ineffective, as last year biggest signing were A&R driven. Some people assume that they don’t need a record label to outshine in the industry but the reality of the matter is that there is a queue at the door of record labels. Having come on the other side of the table now, I realize how much of that line is actually forming too. There are mediums today through which a musician can upload music but…can you really make a name out of it!”

“As I have seen all sides of the coin, I can state that apart from Justin Bieber and other four- five artistes none of the musicians have become sensational and have made a million dollar without the aid of a record label. A struggling artiste won’t be able to upload their tracks on iTunes and iTunes isn’t going to entertain any band from India whether through Sony or anywhere because they don’t have the time to deal with millions of musicians. ” he added.

For years, Times Music has created a global publishing administration and digital distribution network which is known for unearthing new talent and indie artistes from various regional languages. “Each label has different future, for eg – T-series which is firmly rooted in film music or Saregama which has so much of repertoire that they can create wonders with it, or labels like us. We have specialty in niche music business, so we keep investing in indie talent or fusion base material because we can afford to do it," he said.

He revealed that besides structuring itself as a right management organization, Times group brings unparalleled advertising advantages to its artistes. "We also try to monetize music as lot of our tracks like ‘So you think you can dance’ or Indian film track 'Nakka Mukka' ( Dirty Picture) are being played in our US series,” he added.

9XO programming head Luke Kenny who came on-board as a ‘Guest Editor' at's (RnM) office engaged in a special interaction with Mandar Thakur and contributed to the fifth anniversary celebrations.