Interview of the Month – IPRS

Interview of the Month

In Conversation with Aditya Gupta – Director, Aditya Music

The Indian music industry is dominated by film music due to the enormous amount of content produced every year. The Telugu film industry is one of the three largest in India which automatically makes the Telugu music industry amongst the largest in the country.

Over the years Telugu songs have been dubbed or recreated by Bollywood or other regional industries. The third most spoken Indian language has a huge diaspora spread across the world which makes the content attractive to the digital platforms.

The Telugu music industry has taken giant strides over the years and is growing exponentially. The industry’s continuous evolution has ensured changes within the industry, especially the distribution and promotion of the songs. Now with the digitally-driven industry, the market is heavily competitive and the players are not shying away.

One of the leading players in the Hyderabad-based, Aditya Music India Pvt. Ltd. The company owns and operates a business engaged in recorded music and music publishing in audio and visual content in India. Aditya Music has also acquired some of the major catalogues like Supreme Recordings Pvt. Ltd., Echo Recording Company Pvt. Ltd., Leo Audio Video Pvt. Ltd., Pyramid Music Pvt. Ltd., Maruthi Music, and Sohan Music to add to their huge repertoire. The company owns a vast repertoire of 2500+ albums comprising of Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi.

IPRS spoke to Aditya Gupta, Director, Aditya Music, to know how the Telugu music industry and Aditya Music have been keeping up with the changes in consumption patterns, utilising social media, the evolving role of record labels, distributors, and publishers, and his future plans.

How has Aditya Music kept up with changing patterns of music consumption in the country especially due to the lockdown?

The overall consumption, be it audio or video, has increased exponentially in the last two years. As all are aware, a lot of new labels, aggregators, new players dealing in various genres, old and new, have entered the market. The regional music industry, film, and non-film, has also witnessed high growth. This made it difficult for the existing labels to maintain their earlier market share.

We are proud to say that Aditya Music’s market share has been growing regularly, despite market conditions, where most players have found it difficult to maintain their share.  Even in the pandemic, in the last 15 months, Aditya Music has released more than 300 film songs.

This growth had been long due as most of the OTT and streaming platforms were not regionalised. The international platforms view India as a single market so there was a lack of language-specific segments and notification. It took time for them to regionalise their platforms with dedicated notifications, updates, and information. Further, as we know that none of the OTT and streaming platforms in India had any dedicated marketing focus or teams for prominent regional markets like Tollywood. Aditya Music being a market leader in Tollywood, we are working closely with all these platforms to regularise this, which will bring huge growth for regional markets.

Even during the lockdown, when most of the productions in other markets in India were at a standstill, surprisingly the Telugu market was on an upsurge announcing many highly budget new projects, the entrant of new banners, due to the excellent infrastructure and huge potential available here.

What are your thoughts on the YouTube views phenomenon, has it changed the way you function?

The music industry relates the YouTube views with success. It’s a great perception that YouTube has inculcated in our industry. The content owners, artists, producers, and all others involved promote their content as for the YouTube views are the parameters for success, milestones, and records.

We haven’t undergone many changes from a strategic point of view. With every new release, we have been focusing mostly on quality improvisation. Unlike other markets, The South Indian music market still relies on organic views. Aditya Music YouTube channel is the biggest in South India and has recently crossed 20 Million Subscribers.

Social media and OTT platforms have transformed the regional markets with more and interesting talents being unearthed on a regular basis. Is Aditya Music adapting or exploring alternate ways of scouting for talent? What does it take for a record label today to spot the right upcoming artist?

As known, Telugu Music Industry is predominately driven by film songs. In Tollywood, the directors and composers have always been open to new talent and provided opportunities in their projects. We at Aditya Music believe in complete artistic freedom and hence support and encourage new talents to showcase their creativity by allowing them to use our blockbuster hit songs. We equally promote new talent as we promote the known artists in our official channels. Yes, in our roadmap we plan to have a dedicated team to release and promote independent originals. As Aditya Music works directly across all platforms whether online streaming apps, social media, short video apps, FM Radios, Television channels, we shall bring this value to genuine new talents.

Digital technology has made the world a smaller place, especially with the growing smartphone market. How do you foresee the role of record labels, distributors and publishers with the changing times?

Yes, the world has become a single market now. Earlier, there would be separate region-based strategies for the launch and release of content which made it very difficult to release and distribute the content. But now the content can be released and distributed globally at the same time. This ensures worldwide engagement. The digital revolution has helped the industry a lot. With our visionary leadership of Aditya Music, we have been upgrading ourselves since the digital evolution has taken its footprints. We are publishing our content on YouTube and we are distributing content to our premium streaming partners Spotify and Amazon to reach the Americas market as there is a huge audience for our premium content. Our streaming partners, in turn, publish and promote our content by utilising their databases all across the globe.

Aditya Music controls a large share of the Telugu market already. Are you taking steps towards dominating the other South Indian music markets?

As you rightly said Aditya Music manages not only a large share of Telugu Music but also we are acquiring multi-lingual big-ticket movies on our kitty. . In addition to this, we plan to put our footprints in other South Indian Markets as a roadmap. Apart from music, we are already very active and aggressive in the film business especially the dubbed movie market under our subsidiary brand ‘Aditya Movies’ which is enormous. Aditya Movies is already one of the top most players in this segment and a most preferred partner for prominent broadcasters. The demand for south movies in all other parts of India and abroad is enormous and hence we aim to upscale our operation and investments in it.