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ShareChat’s Times Music deal includes short-video app Moj

Moj is one of the short-video apps making hay in India in the wake of TikTok’s ban there. Launched in July, it grew to 50 million users within a month, then 80 million by late September, when its parent company ShareChat raised $40m of funding to continue the momentum.

ShareChat said then that partnerships with music labels would be one use for the funding: a sensible strategy, as Indian rightsholders have been rumbling about the lack of licences in the short-video space generally there.

A week on, there’s news of a deal: ShareChat has inked an agreement with Times Music that covers both Moj and its existing ShareChat social app. It includes Times Music’s catalogue, and also that of Punjabi-music label Speed Records.

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Indian music industry debates potential for paid music subs

“I think we’re on course,” said Blaise Fernandes, the president and CEO of India’s official recorded music industry body the Indian Music Industry, when asked on a status update on the country’s plan to break into the top ten of the world’s biggest music markets by 2022, at this year’s edition of the annual All About Music conference on Tuesday.

“For us to get to the top ten, we’ve got to double our revenues, we’re at $150 million, we’ve got to get to $300 million,” Fernandes told moderator, Outdustry’s Ed Peto at a panel entitled ‘Musicnomics: Making Sense Of Money In The Music Business’.

Among the drivers that Fernandes said would help India in reaching its destination, is an “underexploited” public performance market; the estimated 830 million smartphone users the country is expected to have by 2020; and a “$2.5 billion digital advertising market” owing to which “you’re going to see a lot sync opportunities”.

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Roadmap to India: tips for music success in 2017 (#midem)

India is often cited alongside China and Latin America as one of the music markets with huge potential for contributing to the next 100 million music subscribers. But can non-Indian artists and labels be part of this?

A panel session at Midem today discussed some of the current trends, legal developments and opportunities to do business in India.

It included Mandar Thakur, chief operating officer at Times Music; Sonya Mazumdar, CEO of EarthSync India; and Gaurav Sharma, VP of growth and data science at Saavn. The moderator was Outdustry MD Ed Peto.