| 18 Jun 2024
Hungama to soon launch video as format for original music content : Siddhartha Roy

On 25 August 2016, 500 young screaming, excited and jubilant fans stood outside the entrance of Hard Rock Café, Andheri hoping to get a glimpse of English pop band ‘The Vamps’. The fans surely experienced their ‘dream-come-true’ moment, unaware of the efforts that went into bringing the biggest boy band sensation (after ‘One Direction’) to India.

The Vamps performed at HRC to promote their newest sensational collaboration with Bollywood composer duo Vishal-Shekhar, and the single since its launch on 17 August, has crossed already one million views on Hungama’s digital platform. Hungama’s contribution to the execution of The Vamps’ further outreach to Indian audience did not only restrict to the audio services. The event read: ‘Hard Rock Café & Hungama Music presents G-Shock Thursday Live: The Vamps feat. Vishal & Shekhar’. The collaboration for the single was an outcome of association between EMI Records and Bottomline Media, although all of the credit for the distribution in Indian market goes to Hungama.

Speaking on the effort, Hungama chief executive officer Siddhartha Roy said, “The songs, obviously, were created as collaboration between Vishal-Shekhar and The Vamps, and we were extremely glad that Bottomline Media gave us the opportunity to release the single on our mediums and the launch as well. Hungama is digitally distributing ‘Beliya’ across its platforms like Wynk, Hungama Music,, Tata Sky Active Music etc.”

Hungama Music has previously too implemented collaborations on the back of original content extensively. For example, the initiative ‘Khazana – The Festival of Ghazals’ was live streamed on the entity’s digital channels two years ago. “With Salim-Sulaiman, we did ‘Shukran Allah’. A new rendition of the festive season was created by the duo and Hungama distributed it for the composers.”

A week ago, Hungama announced its version 2.0 that would bring its consumers 23000 hours of video content  that involved strategic partnerships with Sony, BBC, ITV, Sun TV and few more.

Roy added that Hungama would announce a “big” project – in the next six weeks - on the video as a format (and product) in-sync with the originals. The inevitable development would arrive at a time when every player in this space has been trying to create its own identity to distinguish itself from its closest competitor. Roy emphasised on Hungama being the only music app to allow audio and video experience. “Moreover, The Vamps will be live on our platform tonight. So, the consumers from this part of the world would stream tonight’s show live at the same time.”

The performance exclusively streamed live for 12 million Hungama users across the country.

Hungama’s indie artiste platform began with a small list of artists in its roster. The artist agency hosts over 500 artists today. Roy emphasised the focus on musical originals over brand integrations. “Our platform is big enough to bring content, rather than go around and get a brand to create or import any kind of content.”

In the case of the latest effort concerning ‘Beliya’, the outcome allows Hungama to create a presence in the west. “That and the fact that the collaboration involves top international sound and Indian artists makes the whole deal even sweeter for the fans,” replied Roy, upon asked about the effects of these collaborations.

Hungama has been aggressively acquiring rights for content on the audio front through tie-ups with K Digital Media (for genres focusing on rap and hip-hop) and Connect Broadband (to extend its presence in Punjab).

Four months since raising $25m in funding round led by Xiaomi , Hungama has been aggressively involved in tie-ups and extending its presence across genres of entertainment and regions of consumption, and Roy concluded that the company’s focus on amplifying music front continues to remain as determined as ever.