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ADAG's Big music eyes 40% market share

December 31, 2007 11:27 IST
Reliance ADAG's Big Music and Home Entertainment is looking at garnering close to 40 per cent market share of home and music entertainment business in India.

It is also eyeing Hollywood releases to capture at least 50 per cent market share of all the new releases.

The Hindi home entertainment market is estimated at Rs 650 crore (Rs 6.5 billion) at present and is expected to grow to Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) in the next five years.

The music industry in India is estimated at Rs 900 crore right (Rs 9 billion) now, which is expected to double year on year on the back of mobile music downloads catching up.

Speaking to Business Standard, Kulmeet Makkar, chief executive officer of Big Music and Home Entertainment said, "We are looking at obtaining home video rights for about 50 Hindi films of 200 Hindi movies released every year. We are also looking at acquiring music album rights for these films."

The company would leverage its marketing expertise through its radio station (BIG FM), mobile (Reliance Communications) as well as produce original movies through its Big Motion Pictures.

The company has also entered into a strategic alliance with Universal Pictures International as exclusive licensee for India.  As a part of the deal, Big Music and Home Entertainment will market and distribute Universal's home video products in India.

Universal has over 2000 titles and 200 Hollywood titles which Big Entertainment is going to market and distribute in India.  It is also dubbing the content in Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, and other languages.

"For instance, we are dubbing the entire Barbie Doll series in Hindi for CDs and DVDs," said Makkar.

In music, Reliance entertainment also plans to acquire rights of close to 35 non-filmy Hindi music albums. According to market estimates, India releases some 100-odd non-filmy music albums per year.

At present, the biggest players in home video include Moser Baer, Shemaroo, Eros, and Eagle, among others.

"The competition is mainly with several regional home video label owners," said Makkar.

The company is therefore planning to acquire home video rights from local players for Bengali, Tamil, Telegu, Punjabi and Marathi languages.

The company is also setting up regional offices for localised content development. It inaugurated its Kolkata office recently and would open its Chennai office in January.

Kolkata is estimated to have close to 15 local home video label-owners while South India has almost 80 label-owners.

"In addition to movies and music, we are planning to create several niche categories for home videos. For instance, we would create CDs and DVDs on cooking lessons, fashion, and also celebrity life and talk shows that would interest people," Makkar said.

In music, the company is also planning to promote local artists and
music bands.

For original content creation, the company has signed Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhonsle and A R Rahman for exclusive music videos and albums.

Big Music & Home plans Bengali film foray

The fate of Bengali movies is set to change, if Reliance ADAG's Big Music and Home Entertainment's plans are anything to go by.

Reliance plans to revive the Bengali movie industry at par with other regions like the South Indian movie market which is estimated to be double the size of Hindi movies in India.

The company is planning to set up multiplexes in Bengal as well as buy a few of the existing dilapidated standalone multiplexes in the state and redo them.

This apart, Reliance is also talking to some of the renowned Bengali actors, directors and artists in Bengal, like Prasenjit, Rituparno Ghosh and others, to make and produce big-ticket movies with them.

Kulmeet Makkar, chief executive officer of Big Music and Home Entertainment said, "Bengali movies don't have much of a fan-following because they look shabby due to limited monetary investment into its creation and promotion. The most expensive Bengali movie will be made with a budget of Rs 3 crore (Rs 30 million), while other regional movies like the ones in Tamil will have a budget of Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million)."

Reliance is also looking at a 50 per cent market share of the Rs 40 crore Bengali home video market.

About 70 Bengali movies are released every year and are produced with a budget of Rs 2 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore (Rs 15 million) per movie, according to market data.

"We are looking at acquiring home video rights of close to 25 Bengali movies every year. Of these, we will also acquire rights of close to 10 film music albums," Makkar said.

In non-filmy Bengali music albums, Reliance is planning to create close to 20 music albums a year. These would be combination of music videos and audio CDs and DVDs.

The company also plans to introduce compilations of Rabindra Tagore poetry, music awards, and live performances, in home entertainment format.

The company also plans to promote Bengali bands, music and theatre artists.

"We plan to revive Bengali film music. So we are looking at promoting about four Bengali bands initially of the 10 to 12 Bengali bands existing in Bengal. We are also talking to various singers and musicians in Bengal to make music albums with them. These would be available across all Reliance communications platforms like the radio and mobile," Makkar said.

It has already signed Bengali band Chandrabindoo with whom it will create music albums. The content will also be made available for download on Reliance mobiles.

The company is also in the process of signing close to 12 Bengali artists for Bengali music albums and for performances that would be packed in CDs and DVDs.
Pradipta Mukherjee in Kolkata