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Last Updated : Sep 23, 2019 07:08 PM IST | Source:

Here's why Believe, world's fourth largest music distributor, has entered India's live music space

Paris-based Believe has acquired Indian live music production company called Entco as it sees live music picking up pace in India

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

Did you know that Paris-based Believe, which is the fourth largest music distributor in the world, has recently acquired an Indian live music production company called Entco?

Believe, started in 2004, has grown into a billion-dollar company in the last 15-odd years. They are a music tech company and, as a part of their expansion strategy, are acquiring companies across the world.

They acquired major labels in Europe last year. And have now come to India as the live market is picking up very well in the country.


After all, global artists like Katy Perry and one of world’s popular rock band U2 are coming to India to woo the Indian audience. And this shows the boom in the live music space in the country.

What's in the pipeline after the acquisition?

Betting big on the live music segment, Believe and Entco will focus on live division which will do music festival and they will also focus on branded tours.

Entco which has been re-branded as Believe Entertainment had started its operations in 2012 and has experience in music festivals and concerts.

They distribute artists like Gary Sandhu, Jass Manak, and other Punjabi artists and also singer Shaan’s music.

Believe Entertainment now have plans to do branded tours and are also looking at in-video integration in the music videos of artists especially in the regional music.

“If we sign an artist and they are doing a tour of 8-10 cities then we try to get a brand on board to leverage the opportunity,” said Subramanian Iyer, founder of Entco.

Currently, their focus is on their upcoming music festival called the Ranthambore music festival that takes place at the Nahargarh Palace in Rajasthan.

“It (Ranthambore music festival) is our flagship IP and we have been organising it for the last the two years. It will begin again in December (27,28 and 29),” said Iyer.

Reasons behind the boom in the live music space in India

Ask Iyer about what has led to the increased interest amid people for live music events and he says that it is the boom in the music streaming space that is encouraging more independent artists in India and music is going beyond Bollywood.

“We (India) are at about 7.5 billion streams which is slated to grow multi-fold in the coming years. So, music is being consumed every minute. People are looking for opportunities like festivals, IPs and concept shows. People want other avenues. Hence, in India live music will explode,” he said.

Concurring with Iyer is Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana, who also said that "elimination of entertainment tax is a positive development and rationalization and reduction of GST (goods and services tax) to a four percent to 10 percent band would be a major boost for the industry."

Currently, revenue generated from live events in the music space is estimated at Rs 1,280 crore, according to a recent Deloitte report.

Music going live beyond metros

While the live music is growing, is it restricted to metros alone?

And the answer is no because Iyer sees tremendous potential in tier II and III cities for the live segment to grow.

“Big shows happen in metros as soon as shows start going to tier II and II cities, they become even more bigger. Give you an example – Arijit Singh is a big live music artist and he has done tours in Ahmedabad and interiors of Maharashtra which are now sold out because those kinds of cities never get access to such shows,” he said.

He also said that they have a strong sense that music being consumed regionally is extremely high as they see live music picking up pace in cities like Mohali, Punjab and people are willing to pay for tickets as well.

Talking about pricing in the smaller towns Iyer said that a lot depends on the artist that is performing.

“Pricing depends on what artist you are taking. So, if you take a U2 to Mohali you can price it the same as a metro city but if you are taking a young and upcoming artist then you will have to price it Rs 500-Rs 700 and include drinks as part of the deal,” he said.

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First Published on Sep 23, 2019 07:08 pm
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