The Musical War (Kabir’s Point of View)
Kabir is a young enthusiastic film buff. He is an advertising junkie whose family is not closely related to films. It’s his passion to keep a track on the insider happenings of the industry. From actor fees to the popcorn rates at PVR, Kabir knows it all. Every Sunday we will share Kabir’s point of view on one topic related to the industry.
The musical chairs of the industry
Music rights of a film are one of the key sources of revenue for a producer. Today all producers sell off their music rights before the release of the film since they recover some part of their investment immediately plus they get assurance of promotion of their film on television. To make this simpler
Rohit Shetty has announced Dilwale with Red Chillies Entertainment starring Shahrukh Khan, Excel Entertainment has announced Bangistan and Dil Dhadakne Do. We may not have seen the promos of any of these films; in fact the shoot of ‘Dilwale’ has just started, but they have already locked in a music partner. That’s how essential a music partner is to a film. Apart from satellite rights, it’s one of the most vital sources of revenue. Few production houses like Yash Raj Films and Eros International have their own music labels like ‘Yash Raj Music’ and ‘Eros Music’. However, for other innumerable films made there are a few big players that dominate the music market.
The big players
The biggest player in terms of promotion and bandwidth for quite some time has been ‘T-Series’. They have the biggest library (catalogue) and have always been associated with some of the biggest films till date.
T-Series musical slate over the years (some of the big films for each year mentioned)
- 2011 – Bodyguard, Singham, Don 2, Ready, Rockstar, Ra-one
- 2012 – Talaash, Dabangg 2, Cocktail, Housefull 2
- 2013 – Yeh Jawaani hai Deewani, Chennai Express, Aashiqui 2
- 2014 – Kick, Happy New year, PK, Ek Villain, Ragini MMS 2, 2 States
The others player ‘Sony Music’ and Wild Card Entry ‘Zee Music’
Sony Music has always been the biggest competition to ‘T-Series’ over the years. They have never been aggressive and most often selective in selecting their films.
Sony Music slate over the years
- 2011 – FALTU, Shor In The City
- 2012 – Barfi, Heroine, Student of the Year, Rowdy Rathore, Jannat 2, Ek Deewana Tha
- 2013 – Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, Raanjhaana, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
- 2014 – Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, City Lights, Hasee Toh Phasee, Zid
The new entrant – Zee Music
Between T-Series and Sony Music it was a given that T-Series was the monopoly. Now with Zee music pumping money to acquire the music rights of big films, the competition has just gotten hotter. They made a reasonable debut with acquiring the following films
2014 – Holiday, Bang Bang and Shaukeen
Their forthcoming films include – Gabbar is Back, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo and Singh is Bling.
The Music-game get heated
If we see the music-films slate earlier mentioned above we noticed that every year the big films have always been with T-Series essentially. However with new competition coming in the market and more monies being pumped in, it may be fair to say that the musical acquisition game has heated up. Case in point – Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale has been acquired for a whopping 19 Crore (reported) by Sony Music. Shahrukh’s earlier films like Happy New year and Chennai Express have been with T-Series. This one is a shift.
The big banners divided according to music labels this year
- T-Series – Bajrangi Bhaijaan (already released Roy and Baby)
- Sony Music – Dilwale
- Zee Music – Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, Gabbar is Back
The figures being offered for music rights for big banner films are unheard of (almost equivalent to the cost of production of a mid-size film). Questions arise as to how will a music banner recover such a huge amount. However, on the other hand more competition only helps in improving the revenue for an individual producer. With bigger films being announced each day the competition to acquire will only get hotter. While at this point of time in terms of content and catalogue it’s safe to conclude that ‘T-Series’ enjoys its monopoly, but one can’t also deny the fact that the new music labels are giving it tough competition.
Do share your thoughts on the article and comment on the most awaited music albums of 2015.
Also read other articles by Kabir