| 25 Feb 2024
Indian market will be bigger than UK or the US market: Lee Parsons, Ditto Music CEO

MUMBAI: Ditto Music Ltd, a Liverpool based Indie Music and Distribution label company, is all set to make its presence felt in South Asia by entering the Indian market. The city of dreams, Mumbai will be the headquarter of the company in India.

Speaking about the same, Ditto Music- CEO and co-founder Lee Parsons said, “Artists are moving away from major label deals, towards independent music ventures. This is because companies like Ditto are giving them more attention, better terms and more revenue.”

Lee didn’t stop here, but also shared the salient features of their foray into the Indian music scenario. “India is a developing market that is why I am spending time here. If you look at the United States, the streaming revenue is 60 per cent of the market there, but in India, it’s only around three per cent. But, in the coming 12 months, you are going to see a huge increase in the streaming revenue. People will eventually start paying for the subscriptions more. So, for us, it’s a huge opportunity, the way the market is right now.”

Spilling beans on the investment details of the company, he told, “In the first year we are investing around a million pounds. But, in the period of three years, we will be spending five-ten million.”

“We would invest a lot of money for content so that we break even pretty quickly because the whole idea is to be profitable. Also, it’s a long-time project, which is proceeding very rapidly,” Lee added.

Since it is a long-term project, Ditto Music team would require a lot of patience apart from investment and expansion plans. On this, CEO Lee Parsons said, “Things, here, are not going to happen overnight. But, I want to be here as I don’t want to miss the wave. The fact that companies like Amazon and Spotify are entering the Indian market, shows the wave that people are going towards. It’s such a big opportunity.”

Having previously worked with major artists such as Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith at the early stages of their career, Ditto Music currently works with the next generation of rising artists. Ditto Music has currently signed the following record labels/ artists from India, namely, Gathani (Bengali), Aaryaa Digital (Bhojpuri), Lerar (Tamil) and Vittal (Gujrati). Having released top 40 albums and singles in 2018 for artists such as Dodie, Dave, AJ Tracey, Yxng Bane etc, the company is targeting genres, beyond Bollywood.

“Every type of genre of music is available here. We have a lot of the classical Indian music. If a 15-16-year-old starts making music in his bedroom, it’s not going to be Bollywood,” Lee exclaimed.

With an aim to have a catalogue of approximately 120,000 tracks by 30 September 2018, Ditto Music will cover Indian languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Malayalam, Tamil and Punjabi.

On this, Lee further said, “We have 100 thousand tracks and will be going to Chennai for more. We are also doing 20 odd regional languages. Anyone can reach us through our website and if they are good, we will sign them.”

Lastly, when asked, where would India be, five years from now, and Ditto Music’s contribution in the same, Lee said, “Indian market will be bigger than UK or the US market. The lifestyle will change. Also, the highest population of 25-year-olds is here in India. In the next generation, people will grow to stream and I see it in India. The new generation will not only use but will also see a rapid growth.”

Founded by the musicians, for the musicians, Ditto provides distribution, music video, promotional and label services, offering both 100 per cent royalty and commission-based deals. Ditto Music is also responsible for the innovative product, a record label in the box that provides all the tools, budding music entrepreneurs require to start as well as run a successful label. The company has helped in the establishment of thousands of new independent labels worldwide.

Gautam Sarkar, a global veteran of three decades, across music, hospitality and technology, will be leading the India/South Asia office that was started in October 2017. In a very strategic manner, head honcho has decided to stay away from major Bollywood music currently and is more focused on the regional market business and overseas distribution. The company has concluded many major label deals for distribution, outside India, while managing their publishing business that is being neglected due to the lack of knowledge and market presence.

The roster is tending to overflow, as people are looking up to Ditto, a medium, through which, their music will reach to the larger sub-continent diaspora, globally, for delivering high quality streaming audio and monetization of copyright royalties. The opportunities are immense and it’s the right way to get paid for one’s work that is being exploited by many platforms due to lack of accessibility or knowledge.

Lastly, in their next phase, Ditto Music will move to Nepal/Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the management of content as well as publishing.