| 09 Feb 2023
Suresh Thomas speaks on music streaming, AAMA, Universal Music and Crescendo IPs

MUMBAI: Very few people would know what Crescendo Music has been up to recently; this is because the Indian music label has kept a rather low profile. The label company has come a long way since once partnering with former music giant Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG), before associating itself with Universal Music. Early this year, Crescendo Music premiered its first live intellectual property (IP) in the form of a competition-style music festival – ‘Gheun Tak’ in Pune. Crescendo Music Founder Suresh Thomas spoke to about the festival, which received mixed reviews, while also opining on topics such as music streaming, the Artist Aloud Music Awards (AAMA) and on Crescendo’s association with Universal Music.

“The primary reason behind developing our IP was to promote independent music,” said Thomas. “Our Pune edition was alright, and that is all I can say on that.” Thomas did add that there would be two more ‘Gheun Tak’ events across Maharashtra from October onwards. He also said that the plan is to first polish the festival. “We intend to create more properties, but before that, we want to polish and present two more ‘Gheun Tak’ events between October and January,” said Thomas. He revealed that live stage events contribute to most of Crescendo Music’s revenues.

Presently, Universal Music handles CD distribution for Crescendo Music. “All our physical CDs are marketing by Universal Music, even though, because of digital downloads very few people actually buy CDs and listen to music. I still strongly feel that there is still a small market who buys CDs, and it is our obligation to provide our consumers with them,” said Thomas.

On the rise of music streaming portals and their impact on artist wages, Thomas opined, “In my opinion, music should be paid for. However, sometimes, even monetisation is not enough because, if you look at YouTube, even if your video has garnered more than two million views, you do not earn a lot from it.” He further went on to add that the value of music is going down, and feels that music promoters are not valued enough. “It is the Asian mentality which allows the view that music should be free. That is anything but good,” he said.

Speaking on his association with Artist Aloud, Thomas said that he has been with the company for the past 20 years, ever since its founder, Soumini Paul was a singer. “We have been giving our content to Artist Aloud for a long time,” he stated.

According to Thomas, AAMA is a great initiative to recognise independent music. “These have been hard times for the independent music industry. Right now, the independent music scene is at an all time low; while it was booming 15 years. I am glad that Artist Aloud has taken the initiative to bring independent music in the spotlight. We have to keep at it and showcase as much indie music as we can while there is still hope,” stated Thomas.