Sylvain Delange Director Asia Pacific, LATAM, SPPO at Believe Distribution Services talks about the companies distribution services, the digital growth in the regional music in the Indian music landscape, revenue models and projected growth in an interesting conversation with loudest.in
‘Believe’ is one of the largest multi-channel networks for video distribution with over 3 billion views per month. Represented in 44 countries around the world the company boasts of a team of international music-loving professionals who have been handpicked from across the music industry to provide high-level strategy and support to its clients.
Sylvain Delange began the conversation telling about the company’s core businesses by saying, “Our main business is serving artists and labels to help them develop their presence mostly on the digital space, but we are also present outside the digital space for live booking opportunities for our artists and publishing.”
Highlighting on its artist portfolio in the Indian market Delange said, “Believe is a very very local company and we represent a lot of big local artist in India and across the globe in countries like Russia, South East Asia, Italy and many more. We work with the local artists and develop them from the ground up. So in India typically we work a lot in the regional sector with artists like Garry Sadhu from Punjab who’s complete digital music distribution is taken care of by us. We work with Farhan Akhtar as we represent him in terms of his bookings and also releasing his independent content on the digital platforms. We also work with Shankar Mahadevan for some of his popular IP properties like ‘My Country My Music’.Also, we work with a lot of independent artists in India.”
Across the globe Believe works with many talented artists including Chinese Man, James Vincent McMorrow, Breton, Gavin James, The 2 Bears, Public Service Broadcasting, Queen, Monty Python, Deep Purple and many others. Among its many clients are the companies like World Circuit, Nettwerk Records, Planet Records, Green United Music, One Little Indian, Hospital Records, Xtra Mile Recordings and Southern Record Distribution.
Talking about popular music and genres picking up in the Indian market and what ‘Believe’ believes in talking forward, Delange said, “India is mostly driven by languages then genres, and so we are working with artists who sing in regional languages like Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, and Tamil who cater to the region-specific audiences and we help them grow in the digital space and OTT platforms. Although genres like Hip- Hop, EDM and electronic music is getting popular here, we work with the language approach.”
Referring to content distribution and digital partnerships with key players in India, Delange said, “We are delivering our content to more than 350 digital platforms around the world through direct partnerships. In India, we have partnerships with all major digital platforms from Gaana, Jio Saavan, Wynk, Spotify to Apple Music. Believe is also into providing content to stores and is providing 35% of the new music which is uploaded on Apple in any given month, so it’s huge and has millions of tracks on the catalog. In 2018 we paid out around half a billion Euros royalties back to artists and labels.”
Believe provides unparalleled sales statistics communicates effectively with its onboard artists & labels sharing market intelligence about the research and developments happening across the industry.
In reference to the recent researches on the digital growth in the Indian music landscape Delange said, “Our recent study has shown that the regional music is increasing faster than Bollywood, so Bollywood is actually losing in terms of the market share as compared to other languages. Some languages are very popular like Punjabi, Gujarati, and Bhojpuri which are growing much significantly. Since the people now have access to digital platforms, and with a better infrastructure wherein data is cheaper, I think these genres were always popular in the regional space, it’s just that now it’s being translated into the digital space through streaming and views as we see the numbers in reality. While people have always been listening to the local music in Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi Bhojpuri languages.”
Commenting on the growth scenario in the Indian market Delange replied, “I think it’s the most interesting market for next 5-10 years, we see very good signs of growth but it’s still in a very early stage. Right now what’s driving the growth in all other markets around the world like the Western market, South East Asian and China Market is the paid subscription and this is where the money is getting generated. So if you look at the markets in the US around 20-22% population is actually paying for the music. While in India the growth potential is enormous, and there is no reason to think that Indian can’t reach that stage.”
Believe strives to be a fully transparent company, through its market-leading technology and reporting. The company is known to negotiate the best deals for its right holders and retail partners. Leveraging on its size, experience and expertise the company ensures a collaborative approach in all its partner relationship leading to a fair revenue share models. Talking about companies revenue model Delange says, ” Our revenue model is simple, as we work on a revenue share model with our artists and labels, and charge a percentage for the digital services we provide, obviously it’s complex but that’s the basic.”
Delange highlights the need for greater emphasis on creating revenue models to help the creative community in India saying, “While the local stores like Gaana, Wynk, Jio Saavan are not investing enough on the paid subscription but are still focussing mostly on acquiring users rather than on monetizing the content yet as they are grabbing a lot of content and as much as users possible, but that does not translate much to the revenue paid back to the creative community.”
Delange concluded telling about the projected company growth in the Indian market, “We are experiencing a triple-digit growth year on year, and expect at least doubling again by 2022, so it’s very exciting for us. Again we think that the numbers which we are receiving right now are a very few fractions of what it will be for next 5-10 years and I think we are just in that phase.”