RadioandMusic
| 30 Nov 2021
Farout Media plan to have live IP under MARD by end of 2015

CEO and co-founder of Farout Media, Anurag Rao does more than just look into the business aspects of the company. He is often seen sharing the stage with his Farout Media co-founder- Farhan Akhtar as part out Farhan Live because playing live music is Rao's passion. In the past, Rao has been part of several musical projects like Pythagoras & The Right Angles and One Night Stand. 

Rao, who is also the CEO of Canvas Talent, said that his entrepreneurial role leaves him with no time to write and practice music. In an interview with Radioandmusic.com's Jescilia Karayamparambil, he talks about start-up Farout Media and seven-year old Canvas Talent. 

Excerpts:

Tell us about the brand associations you had for Farhan Akhtar?

There have been a few interesting case studies. With the brand Yepme, we did the track 'Tension Kyun Lete Ho Yaar' which was sung by Farhan, and featured Ehsaan and Loy. We deployed the song as a jingle into the product Yepme, and got the brand to pre-buy a number of downloads which they bundled into their sales promotion. Yepme customers who bought apparel would get the song for free. It was the first song we delivered.

The second project was with MARD; we released a track titled ‘Chulein Aasman’ which had Salim-Sulaiman and Farhan. MARD sent out the message of gender equality and the music played a vital role in driving the sentiment across to various people. Google’s digital literacy initiative campaign called ‘Helping Women Get Online’ (HWGO) in partnership with Intel, HUL and Axis Bank, backed the track. At the philosophical level, HWGO and MARD campaign were talking the same language. Hence, the song delivered the right message among the people. Today, the video has more than 31 lakh views on YouTube.

The third case study was a live streaming concert with Farhan Live and Oxigen Wallet. It was at the stroke of midnight, marking Independence Day. Farhan went live online and we have around 800 thousand registered users, which is a massive number.

We believe that music is going to be consumed through brand partnerships and CSR, which are the two primary streams of taking music out to various audiences and building a wider fan base.

What was the main aim for Farout Media?

The main aim is to create a unique and innovative model in the industry. The focus is revenue monetisation of artists’ assets at song creation itself along with integration and licensing it back to CSR.

As Farout Media, we are helping a lot of artists to take their independent music out. We are deploying tracks into the mainstream through television, advertising, sports and other ways. Farout is trying to be an incubator for artist centric indie music.

What is your plan with Shruti Hassan?

She is a brilliant songwriter who could make an impact internationally. Today, she is a name in Bollywood and other film industries in India. Shruti is the next kid on the block who will be releasing her single soon.

Will Canvas Talent and Farout go hand in hand?

We are a booking agency and we do around 200-250 shows, mainly college, with multiple artists. We book talent for major TV shows, award functions and many other shows. Farout is a publishing IP rights management and talent development company. I am working on two different models, and at some point, I am looking at bringing both of them together, which will help each to feed off the other. That would be the culmination of the companies.

What is your priority between both the companies?

I love doing live concerts. I am a musician myself, so being on stage is my priority.

List of musicians, you would like to work with?

I am already working with many friends who are musicians like SEL, Vishal-Shekar and Salim-Suliamen. We are working with many bands as well. But today, I would like to take some of these musicians outside India. I would like these artistes to collaborate with international producers.

How many artistes do you plan to sign this year?

We plan to sign eight to ten artistes this year, which includes both, upcoming and established artists.

Do you face challenges when approaching brands, considering you are linked with famous names like Farhan Akhtar and Shruti Hassan?

It is a tricky situation to be in because if brands know you are associated with bigger names but are promoting music for newer musicians, they generally ask about the other artistes in your roster. There is a possibility for that. When we have listening sessions with brands and advertisers we associate them with music rather than the personality behind the music. If there is a strong connect between the brand philosophy and music that we are playing then that is a perfect match.

Will any of the artists release a single or album in the near future?

The artists with Farout Media will not have an album, but will release a single soon. We are not yet sure if it will be a solo or collaborative track.

Does Farout sign exclusive deal with artists?

We do sign exclusive deals with artistes. It is about taking the content out as right administers. We are looking at exclusive deals as we help them get exclusive partnerships.

Currently, we are talking with Shruti Hassan. We have signed SEL, Vishal Dadlani, Ram Sampath, Shaa'ir + Func and Sarah Jane, and also bands like Skrat and Sparsh. We are looking at signing many more singers and songwriters. We want to take their music out and build partnerships, which in turn will help them become music entrepreneurs.

Are you looking at having a live property?

We, at Farout, are working towards building a live property. The initiative ‘MARD’ is very close to our hearts, so we will launch the IP under that initiative. We plan to get the live IP in place hopefully by the end of the year.

Are you looking at investors?

Farout is set-up by Excel Entertainment and me. At some point, we might look at raising investments. It would be someone who understands our business plans and philosophy.

What are your international plans?

We are going to set up Farout in the United States. We believe that there is a massive opportunity for content to get published in the US and European markets. We are also looking at publishing tie-ups to take our content out through various publishers.