Ingrooves’ Amit Sharma: ‘Streaming music is truly a global market’

Last month, global independent music marketing and distribution company, Ingrooves expanded into the India market and named Amit Sharma as Ingrooves Country Manager, India. The expansion has been in line with the company’s penetration  into Italy, Spain, Brazil, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden.

The company – acquired by Universal Music Group in 2019 – marked their India debut with global distribution deals with Himesh Reshammiya and Yo Yo Honey Singh and their independent labels respectively.

An industry veteran, Sharma joins Ingrooves from music streaming service, Gaana where he served as Assistant Vice President of Content Acquisitions. He has previously worked at Eros as Head of Music and Telecom, and helmed senior leadership at Indian telecom companies, including Idea Cellular and Airtel.

“My background brings together most aspects of the music business,” said Sharma in an exclusive chat with Music Plus about his new position. “Each element has its insights, challenges, and opportunities to help artists and labels that have specific requirements to set up and grow their business.”

In an interview with Music Business Worldwide, Bob Roback, CEO of Ingrooves Music Group had said, “Amit is a highly respected music executive in India, with a deep understanding of the independent music industry and is already playing a key role in the market, as we look to work with the best independent labels and artists in India.”

Excerpts from our interview with Sharma

What vacuum is Ingrooves filling in the Indian music industry?

The single most important core of the music industry is the creator, and the most significant lacunae in India is their inability to express themselves freely and at his pace. Distribution models give them that freedom to explore all those aspects, and it turns out to be a win-win for consumers as they get to consume a range of music.

You are looking forward to “further expanding the company’s presence into this important and growing global music market, showcasing the company’s dynamic suite of services to a new wave of artists from the country.” Could you elaborate on this? 

We recognise the importance of Indian music in India and beyond. We want to partner with artists and labels to help them grow their businesses, build their fanbases here, and to help expand into new markets worldwide. There is so much creativity and great music being made in India.

We want to collaborate with artists and labels to help them achieve their creative and commercial goals. As for introducing our tools and services, one example is, we have an innovation team working on proprietary data analytics that are fuelling our tools to help artists identify new high-potential audiences. We were recently awarded two U.S. Patents for our innovations in marketing technology.

Where does the Indian music market stand on a global level? Like Ingrooves, there has been a lot of international attention poised at the Indian consumer. 

India is in the Top 20 in the 2021 IFPI Global Market Report. That’s a big deal. As music streaming continues to become more accessible, more consumers are able to discover Indian artists. Streaming music is truly a global market. It’s a great time to introduce our capabilities, partner, and invest in the music community here. The increased accessibility of music is great for artists, consumers, and streaming services. The IFPI is the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the organisation that represents the recording industry’s interests worldwide.

What is your vision for this position?

We want to bring our products, services, and technology into India along with international best practices, with a cohesive, passionate/expert music team to grow the creator-driven market and to take Indian music and artists across the globe.

What’s on the horizon for Ingrooves in India?

We are focused on working with the best talent across genres and languages to help grow the market. There are no specifics we can provide on pending deals. However, we look forward to our work with Himesh Reshammiya and Yo Yo Honey Singh. They are incredible talents that know the business. It will be a fantastic journey and an honour to collaborate with them on their upcoming releases.

Visit Ingrooves for more details

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