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AWAL expands into India, South Asia with OKListen acquisition

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Artist providers firm AWAL, now part of Sony Music Group, is increasing into India and South Asia, the corporate introduced Tuesday (June 26).

AWAL – recognized for its music offers structured to permit artists to retain possession and management of their music – is making the transfer following its acquisition of OKListen, a Mumbai-headquartered digital music platform for indie labels and musicians.

As a part of the acquisition, OKListen founder and CEO Vijay Basrur has been appointed AWAL’s Head of India and South Asia.

He’ll report back to AWAL CEO Lonny Olinick, in addition to to Vinit Thakkar, Managing Director, Sony Music India. (Thakkar lately returned to Sony after a seven-year stint as COO at Common Music India.)

Although nonetheless a small market relative to its inhabitants of 1.4 billion, India’s music scene is anticipated to see sturdy development within the coming years.

A PwC report from 2021 forecast that India’s music, radio and podcast companies would develop a median of 19.1% yearly within the coming years, making it right into a INR 110.26 billion (USD $1.34 billion) trade by 2025.

Certainly, in a current presentation to traders, Sony Music Group Chairman, Rob Stringer, highlighted India as a precedence international territory for the corporate.

Stringer’s presentation cited IFPI information that confirmed India’s home recorded music market generated USD $319 million in 2022, a determine that was up 48% YoY (see beneath).



Discussing AWAL’s new enlargement into Asia, Lonny Olinick stated: “The unbiased music group throughout the area is stuffed with potential.

“Along with Vijay, I sit up for AWAL changing into a real inventive hub for India and South Asia’s unbiased artists, with sources devoted to growing careers which can be dedicated to creator integrity and international success.”

Vinit Thakkar stated: “AWAL, alongside Sony Music, gives an thrilling and complete providing for artists at any stage of their profession, placing the artist first and in command of their very own future, and enabling extra alternatives to showcase their music to followers world wide.”

Vijay Basrur added: “It’s a privilege to hitch AWAL and spearhead the following chapter for the corporate and its international roster within the area. AWAL is already well-known within the area for serving to artists at any stage of their profession. I sit up for bringing AWAL’s experience and international attain to our creators and growing the following section of their careers.”

“The unbiased music group throughout the area is stuffed with potential… Along with Vijay, I sit up for AWAL changing into a real inventive hub for India and South Asia’s unbiased artists.”

Lonny Olinick, AWAL

AWAL just isn’t alone in its South Asian enlargement plans. Earlier this yr, Warner Music India purchased a majority stake in digital media and music firm Divo.

Shortly thereafter, Sony Music Publishing signed a worldwide publishing take care of India-headquartered music firm Ideas Music.

And final yr, Common Music India acquired a majority stake in music and leisure firm TM Ventures, an organization fashioned by Indian entrepreneur Tarsame Mittal, and recognized for managing a roster of artists that features rapper Badshah.

AWAL, which initially stood for Artists With out A Label, was fashioned in London in 1997 by music producers Kevin Bacon and Jonathan Quarmby.

Indie rights supervisor and music writer Kobalt Group acquired the corporate in 2011, and offered it to Sony Music Leisure for $430 million in 2021.

Previous to its enlargement into India and South Asia, AWAL’s most up-to-date transfer was into the Canadian market, with the opening of an workplace in Toronto in 2019.


In an interview with MBW final yr, Mandar Thakur, COO of Occasions Music in India, stated that Indian music has the potential for crossover enchantment that would land it followers world wide, not not like what Okay-pop and Latin music have achieved in current instances – though Indian music just isn’t at that stage simply but.

“What we’re seeing [so far] is the sheer dimension of the populace accessing [YouTube] and that sheer uptake driving the numbers [of consumption] up. I’m very pleased it’s taking place,” he stated.

“In my thoughts, crossing over [globally] is basically what BTS has performed. Or Latin music. Indian music [is] promoting in international lands to Indians; [it] just isn’t crossing over.

“I do consider that right now we’re in a spot the place we can cross over [but] I don’t suppose that’s taking place with any [major] Bollywood names.”Music Enterprise Worldwide

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