Sony Music buys 26% stake in Infibeam Digital

Our Bureau Ahmedabad/ Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 13, 2014

Global music giant Sony Music Entertainment has picked up 26 per cent stake in Infibeam’s digital entertainment arm Infibeam Digital Entertainment Ltd (Indent) for an undisclosed amount.

Infibeam will continue to hold a majority stake in Indent that will focus on offering an attractive platform to large and medium music labels in India and globally.

According to the terms of agreement between the two companies, Sony will not engage in the management of the company, instead it will play more of a strategic role. With growth in 3G internet-enabled mobile sales, Sony eyes greater penetration into its target audience with its vast music library.

Indent has developed a mobile application, through which consumers can download and stream music from music catalog of labels.

Any music label or brand holding rights to content can use the Indent platform to engage customers and monetise by distributing digital as well as physical content under its own brand with payment integrations.

“This is our first big investment in any company in India. Indent would offer music companies and labels with a scalable and commerce-ready platform to tap larger consumers and brands directly,” said Shridhar Subramaniam, president – India & Middle East, Sony Music at a media interaction in Ahmedabad on Tuesday.

According to Subramaniam, India’s music industry is estimated to be worth around Rs 1,000 crore at the consumer end and will grow by 20 per cent this year. The growth will be driven by the increased use of mobiles and tabs for music consumption.

According to him, around 45 per cent of the total revenues in the market come from Bollywood music, while 30 per cent comes from regional music (Tamil, Telugu and Punjabi being the main ones), 10 per cent comes from international music, 5-7 per cent from devotional music and around 5 per cent from Indian classical music.

“We will create a could-based infrastructure for the service. The revenues will be generated from integration with telecom companies and brands. Going forward in next three years, we will invest about Rs 100 crore for this service,” said Vishal Mehta, founder – Infibeam, an e-commerce solutions provider.

Currently, besides Sony Music, Indent offers its services to Inerco (The Indian Record Manufacturing Company Ltd and two more partners, which company declined to share the names of.

Sony Music is one of the largest and most integrated music companies in India owning digital music content rights with highly sophisticated marketing and distribution channels.

'Sony Music Jive'

Last year, Sony Music had partnered new range of Sony Xperia Smartphones to launch 'Sony Music Jive' - a first of its kind music service that allows consumers to download and stream music from the Sony Music Catalog of two million songs, which was powered by Indent.

Post the successful launch of the Jive application on the Xperia smartphones in India, the same application was launched in Indonesia, North Africa and West Asian markets. The service was also extended to Sony VIAO laptops in 2013.

With large repository of music content, Indent will continue developing applications for many large labels and brands with integrated telco billing, OEM bundling and social platforms.

Indent is projecting a revenue of $3-5 million (Rs 30 crore) during the current year.

Published on May 13, 2014
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