Warner Music India (WMI) has struck an exclusive distribution agreement with Sky Digital India, a Punjabi music content consortium and aggregator.
The deal will see WMI growing Sky Digital’s market share in India, currently estimated at around one percent nationally, by establishing a presence for its artists and distributed label content on additional digital music services.
“The Punjabi music scene is absolutely exploding at the moment and Sky Digital’s artists already have a huge fanbase in India. We’re in a great position to help connect them with even more music fans both here and around the world. This deal is a key milestone in the development of Warner Music’s presence in India,” stated Jay Mehta, Managing Director, Warner Music India
Sky Digital India houses some of the biggest Punjabi music stars including Jaani, B Praak, Mankirt Aulakh, Gippy Grewal, Sunanda Sharma, Sidhu Moosewala, Happy Raikoti, etc. It also manages Punjabi content-based YouTube channels with more than 15 million subscribers, making it the third-largest Punjabi YouTube channel collective, with top videos on the site racking up more than 500 million views.
Gurkaran Dhaliwal, Managing Director, Sky Digital India, added,
“It is highly exhilarating for Sky Digital to be in partnership with Warner Music. We’re excited about the possibilities for our entire region of North India to engage in the worldwide music industry. Through this deal with Warner Music, and the indomitable strength and scale that this region carries, we can expand together and achieve great success.”
The distribution of Sky Digital’s repertoire outside India will be handled by ADA, Warner’s independent artist, and label services division, while Warner Music India will handle distribution within the country.
Currently, the company aggregates releases from more than 42 Punjabi labels, two leading mainstream independent Hindi labels, and regional labels specialising in Haryanvi and Bhojpuri music.
Modern Punjabi music has its roots in the 1980s, as artists switched from playing folk instruments to harnessing modern production techniques. The Bhangra sound was also heavily used in Bollywood movies, spreading its popularity across India. Artists in the Punjabi diaspora in countries such as Canada, the U.K., and the U.S. started to blend in with other influences from Hip-Hop, R&B, and Reggae with Bhangra beats.
Eliah Seton, President, Independent Music and Creator Services, Warner Music, concluded,
“There’s increasing interest in Punjabi music globally, ignited by diaspora communities in countries such as the US and Canada who’ve helped introduce it to a wider audience. ADA is proud to represent Sky Digital India’s amazing catalogue to a worldwide audience.”
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