Authored Article

Building Global Music Brand: Strategies For International Market Penetration  

By Hamza Kazi
July 10, 2024
Building Global Music Brand: Strategies For International Market Penetration


“Punjabi aa gaye Coachella oye” created a global uproar when Diljit Dosanjh swelled our hearts with pride after creating history at Coachella, one of the biggest global music festivals. In the past, ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’ by British Indian producer Panjabi MC had Jay-Z vibing to it! The craze for Punjabi music has now made streaming platforms take notice, as it has the potential to become the next Reggaeton, Afrobeat or K-pop wave. What's happening? More so, how is it happening? 

The reason is that technological advancement has shrunk the globe into a borderless community and widened the reach of artists. Labels and management agencies are helping their artists by accelerating their reach, causing a global renaissance. Talents like Armaan Malik and Amaal Malik have transcended boundaries with international collaborations with artists like Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa. Badshah, King, and Divine have also been successful with cross-over collabs. This momentum is not an overnight phenomenon but a strategic, structural development along with creative liberty that is opening new avenues. 

A Better Understanding Of The Global Market

History is witness to some of the biggest musical waves that happened in the world. It was not limited to a particular market, but it swept the entire world. Punk highlighted the socio-political and economic disturbances in the U.K., which inspired several other cultures. While a movement was the means earlier, the mode of a sonic revolution has changed. 

Labels and artists are employing new strategies to move into untapped territories, thanks to the new multi-faceted listening behaviour of consumers. The diversity has also led the industry to be more data and analytics driven. 

Universal Music Group, one of the biggest music labels, has bifurcated its data into analytical and behavioral categories. This has helped the label enhance fan engagement and their listening experience. It has also helped them explore markets like Latin America and Africa and tie up with local labels to sign prominent artists which has resulted in success stories like ‘Calm Down’ by Rema. 

Think Global, Act Local

Trends have invaded artistic integrity due to widespread internet access. While understanding global markets, labels and artists jumping on this trends wagon may hamper their performance in the long run. If we look at Netflix, it has not limited its regional content to that region but has expanded it for global consumption. Korean shows like ‘Squid Games’ on an American platform, have become a global phenomenon.

Similarly, artists must maintain their artistic integrity and cultural identity while catering to global sensibilities. Diljit Dosanjh epitomizes this balance really well. He is one of the few Indian artists who has released consecutive globally hit albums while collaborating with heartland and international artists alike! However, the artist has always worn his heritage on his sleeves, even when he appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night TV show, making the host sing in Punjabi! 

Strategic Collaborations

Music is no longer a culturally monotonous entity, as cross-cultural collaborations have gained even more prominence in recent times. Streaming platforms have become repositories of incredible multilingual and multicultural content! While the UK and South Korea have become bastions of popular music, the US still reigns supreme. As per the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) report, the US music sales have increased by 7.2% in 2024, making it a favorable market for artists to widen their fan base.

There have been many breakout Indian stars who are all set to take the globe by storm. Indian rap artist King created a movement in the Desi hip-hop scene with his melodic rap and mesmerising music. His viral hit, ‘Maan Meri Jaan’ had a reprised version with Nick Jonas. This happened through the support of Warner Music India, which signed King and fully intends to put him on the global music map. 

International labels are signing Indian artists, which has led to a cult following for them in foreign waters. The Delhi-based band, Peter Cat Recording Co., has signed to the Paris-based label, Panache Records. Prateek Kuhad, one of our country’s best singer-songwriters, is signed to US-based Elektra Records. This has worked wonders for both as they have gained a huge following in countries like the US and the UK. 

Streamlining data to identify the pulse of the audience and providing a curated and refined experience have become possible with the advent of streaming platforms. The cultural amalgamation of the foreign diaspora has enabled local artists to earn worldwide fame, helping them with international collaborations while democratizing the music space for artists and audiences alike.

To sum it up, the key drivers for international penetration in the next few years will be international collaborations, community building with the help of streaming platforms, and cultural representation through authentic music created with a high level of integrity and artistry.

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