Music Startups Disrupting The Indian Market Whether it is giving a stage for budding musicians to showcase their talent, organizing musical events of different kinds or music licensing platforms, this truly is an interesting space to be in.
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Whether it is giving a stage for budding musicians to showcase their talent, organizing musical events of different kinds or music licensing platforms, the music startup industry truly is an evolving space to be in.
One interestingly named start up in this space is Damroo. Started in 2021, it is India's first regional and independent music-oriented ecosystem. Much more than a music streaming platform, Damroo is a one-stop solution and 360 degree ecosystem for regional and independent artists, audience as well as localized brands, from even the remotest parts of the country. While it empowers creators to directly distribute their original content globally for fair royalty income, it offers the listeners a boxful of curated playlists of the musical geniuses of their region, and equips brands with a seamless channel to license music directly from the actual copyright owners, through music sync licenses. Damroo currently streams more than 2.5 lakh licensed regional tracks across more than 20 Indian languages. "We soon plan to introduce stories and podcasts too, which would again hail from the heart of Bharat. By bridging the gap between artist-audience-brands, Damroo positions itself as a place where everyone wins," says Ram Mishra, Founder and Managing Director of Damroo, which has over 12,000 downloads till date.
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Another name that keeps popping up in conversations related to the music business in India is Hoopr.ai, India's first music licensing platform that's focused on discovering and licensing the right music for creators videos. While Hoopr.ai is currently catering to the demand for licensed music, it will also be providing a massive opportunity for thousands of musicians to be able to monetize their music in a new way.
The company is looking to build tools and technologies that leverage data and consumer insights to provide intelligent recommendations, thereby making the search and discovery process super-efficient for its users. Co-founded by Gaurav Dagaonkar; an IIM- A alumnus and award-winning music director and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience in the music industry, along with serial entrepreneur Meghna Mittal (ex- Hubilo, Yesssworks), Hoopr.ai is a funded startup with notable investors such as Venture Catalysts, 9Unicorns, Inflection Point Ventures, Ashneer Grover, Sahil Barua (Delhivery), Anshoo Sharma (Magicpin), Anuraag Srivastava, Pradyumna Agrawal, Giri Malpani and others.
The company is a part of GSharp Media - a content and technology company focused on creating media-tech platforms and content brands. GSharp Media also operates Songfest India, which creates music IPs with brands.
"We launched in July 2022 and have more than 1,25,000 users currently. We've run contests such as 'Sing 2 Sync' where our intent has been to discover new talent in India and showcase their art to the world. Furthermore, we're also a platform that will share sync revenue with artistes. Future plans include scaling up the platform and expanding internationally," says Dagaonkar.
Also disrupting the music scene in the country is Represent, a company which plans to expand their services, including creator management, a D2C brand, music distribution ecosystem, independent festival IPs, SAAS solutions for artists, and an education platform for music business enthusiasts. From onboarding Shah Rukh Khan for Marshmello's Biba to helping Triller reach over 50Mn MAU in India, they have hit quite a few milestones till date. With clients such as Armaan Malik and DJ Chetas among others, some of their consulting clients are Coca Cola, JioSaavn and Snapchat.
Represent's founder is 29-year-old Mumbai based Aayushman Sinha. His journey began as a marketer and artist manager at the age of 18 while still in college and has grown to build 4 successful startups in varied fields. A firm believer that the Indian audience is ready to consume beyond Bollywood and there's immense potential in the overall pop ecosystem - he aims to build artists, creators, content, brands and products to fill this void. From co-creating IP's with Instagram to helping launch Triller in India, Represent has had an eventful journey.
Founded in 2019 as an incubated start-up under JioSaavn, Represent has evolved into an independent talent management agency. In 2022, it became a bootstrapped company. "In the next three years, Represent plans to focus on three key areas. Firstly, we will invest in D2C businesses with our artists, going beyond traditional merchandise. We are set to launch their first such business with Zaeden. Secondly, our aim is to expand our international presence by hiring personnel in the UK and South East Asia. Lastly, we intend to adopt and develop technology, such as AI and ML, to improve the journey of artists and the music business," Sinha explains to us.
Physical events are an integral part of music, and that's the only way you can see how popular a certain musician is and give fans the full blown experience. That's where the simply named Yours Eventfully comes in, a platform that nurtures artists and helps them grow in their respective genres while connecting them with the right audience base with the help of entertainment events. While they had a humble beginning with only a few events in their founding years, the team are now doing more than 1500 events annually across the world with their exclusive artists. They started off in 2015 by their CEO Vibhor Hasija, and manage artists such as Bismil, Suryaveer and The Storyteller.
A keyboard player, who plays for the Tarkash band, Vibhor's experiences, of being a band member, led to Yours Eventfully.
But how have they impacted the music scene in India?
"With our artists, we have been able to contribute to the sufi music scene in India. Bismil, exclusively managed by Yours Eventfully, has toured India, US, Canada etc and delivering the best of sufi music infused with modern pop music and shayaris written by Bismil himself. Just like sufi, we plan to work towards all the other genres of music as well with our artists - new releases, live gigs, music videos, etc. We are also working on creating our music IPs centred towards delivering an overall wholesome experience to the audience," Hasija told us.
All in all, it seems like in the months and years to come, there shall be an explosion of musical talent in the country, with new artists emerging and varied experiences which shall cater to the growing interests in the music space for fans.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Instagram.com/kabirsinghbhandari