Sameet Sharma is the Vice President & Business head at Live Viacom 18. He has over 16 years of experience in Media, Entertainment and Experiential business. He has been a driving force behind planning, creating and executing successful campaigns for brands like Ultratech Cement, Idea Cellular, Asian Paints, HSBC and many more.
Sameet, in the last decade has been a pioneer for the launch of various Live IP divisions for Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd & Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd, wherein he played a major role in conceptualisation and launch. He has been building scalable and experiential brands & IP’s across Televised awards, Theatricals, Concerts & Festivals. In 2015, Sameet took over Vh1 Supersonic as a brand has shaped the predominantly EDM festival into the large-scale multi-genre spectacle, that it is today.
We interacted with Sameet Sharma after his panel – Music Enhancing Brand Experiences | Live Entertainment & Spaces – at Music Inc to discuss his views on the present scenario in the music industry.
- What was your key takeaway from Music Inc?
- SAMEET: The key take away was that everyone from artistes to brands and the platforms, recognises India’s potential of being a global music powerhouse.
- What do you think is the state and scope of music in the present scenario in India?
- SAMEET:The music scene in India is changing rapidly due to deeper internet penetration. There is an increase in the number of smartphone users and the arrival of streaming companies. With 65% of the country below the age of 35 , we have the biggest fan base in the world. Now based on the rich music culture that we’ve had, the commercial success of Bollywood music worldwide, and with the advent of independent artists today, I believe India has the potential of being the “Music Capital of the World”.
- How do you think different industries/government can contribute to the music culture?
- SAMEET: Just recently Mizoram state announced that they are all set to recognise ‘Music’ as an Industry so as to earn revenue by including investors in the field. The government said they would make all efforts to promote music and music tourism, and music jam rooms and instruments would be made accessible to all interested youths. Now that is a progressive step and I believe it’s time that each state recognise this and create opportunities for young musicians. Apart from that, the current tax on Music gigs is too high and that is restricting the live music scene to a large extent. If states starts to value the importance of music tourism and give taxation rebates for musical gigs, it will help in building the live music scene by attracting more fans, which means promoters don’t have to depend on sponsor revenue as the ticketing revenue will itself mend for the show costs.
- How does brand integration with events help, beyond the idea of visibility?
- SAMEET: According to a research done by Live Nation (World’s biggest promoter for Live concerts), 63% of the festival or concert goers are more likely to connect with the brands that sponsor these events. So it’s no more about visibility it’s about creating a strong connection by fuelling a culture and creating a brand community. Youth resonates with brands that talk their language and music today is the best way to connect with the youth. Redbull created a cult following through their initiatives with RBMA, Budweiser have partnered with biggest Music festivals across the globe giving audiences an experience they cannot forget. Similarly more and more brands are building cult communities by investing in the music scene.
- What direction do you think the music industry is heading in, in the future?
- SAMEET: I believe that as a young nation, we have all the ammunition that is needed to be a leader in the music space. We just need equal efforts and support from the government to recognise its true potential and help build the scene further.