| 24 Apr 2024
blueFROG: 2014 will be expansion and local partnerships in local cities

blueFROG MD Simran Mulchandani

2013 for the live music industry

It was a good year for festivals countrywide. Some massive international talent came to India demonstrating that artistes are now open to coming down, performing and see the market here. The Rupee weakening against the dollar meant that many foreign acts that were earlier affordable or at least within reach, became almost impossible to bring down, but despite that we saw some fantastic world-renowned talent coming down.

Year for blueFROG

It was our first foray into television with the Fox Traveler show ‘Sound Trek’. This saw very good traction and pulled in a large amount of sponsorship for the channel.

We had a good amount of active online following to begin with which has only grown over the span of a year. We are a lakh plus in online followers and are one of the strongest brands in the country in terms of a loyal fan base and we only see this growing.

On ground we have had some of the biggest artistes performing on our stage this year - Manu Chao, Mutemath, Fatoumata Diawara, Rob Garza, Above and Beyond, Infected Mushroom, Anoushka Shankar (Pune) and Gotye (Delhi). We also co-created a property with Coke called leapFROG to Coke Studio@MTV which was a talent hunt whose winner went on to perform in Season 3 of Coke Studio@MTV. We programmed Sulafest in February, a great endorsement and testament to the confidence people have in blueFROG as music tastemakers. We opened our Pune amphitheatre in November to a fantastic response and will be opening the Pune club early next year. Plus we have seen some amazing properties grow at blueFROG - The Scene (an Nh7 and blueFROG initiative) and our metal nights and we have some fantastic local talent being nurtured and growing on our stage.

Achieved expectations of 2013

At the outset our expectations were to: Grow our video production arm; Expand into new cities; Create new sustainable properties with new partners; Deliver spectacular programming; Create and sustain festivals of the highest standard.

We have without doubt met and exceeded these targets for the year and 2014 will be a year of further growth and consolidation. Salient amongst these are our partnerships with Coca Cola, Fox Traveller, The Comedy Store and our diversification into new cities.

Encouraging initiatives

‘The Scene’ has been a tremendously popular property which focuses on young Indie bands. Sound Trek was very well received. Our social media platform has continued to grow. leapFROG to Coke Studio saw our biggest jumps in terms of online traction for frogTV.

By creating new properties with Coca Cola (leap frog to coke studio) and The Comedy Store we have diversified our audiences. Both properties were extremely well received. In addition The Scene has bolstered the blueFROG as the venue for developing young talent and we have continued to grow with this. Sponsors have taken notice and new properties are being launched with large international brands.

Partnerships in 2013

We have had various events or promotions with brands such as Johnnie Walker, Mercedes, BMW, AUDI, Harley Davidson, Adidas Originals, The Comedy Store, Cadbury Bournville, Red Bull and so on. This year we started working with VANS, Nh7, Vespa and are looking at building properties with them. We have broadened the scope of our sponsor relations to make them more all-encompassing, creating brand experiences for our partners that go beyond simply funding. These are a combination of on-ground activations, online visibility and bespoke video content.

Plans for 2014

We opened our open air Pune venue and expect to open the club early next year with our franchise partners. Later in 2014 we plan to open in Bangalore.

This will be a period of consolidation. The music industry has exploded and perhaps grown in a rather haphazard manner. Now is the time for consolidating properties adding value to sponsors, musicians and audiences; creating properties that create memorable experiences. The industry players who get this will be successful.

We will leverage the investment we have made into the brand blueFROG, and look to grow venues across the country with local partners. There is no question in our minds that even with a brand as strong as blueFROG, it is critical to collaborate with local partners in each city and create local entertainment hubs that are enmeshed into the social and cultural fabric of each city.