Warner Music has partnered with Ziiki Media, a music aggregator, distributor and production house that is rapidly expanding its presence in the Indian market.
The company specialises in the Punjabi scene, distributing music from local stars including Daler Mehndi, Jasmine Sandlas and J Star.
Punjabi music is popular across the subcontinent, not just with the 125 million Punjabi speakers in India and Pakistan. It’s also had an international impact, not least among the sizable Punjabi diaspora in Canada of some 700,000 people, and significant communities in Australia, the UK and the USA.
Ziiki has built a huge following online, with 110 subchannels on YouTube that have attracted more than 15 million subscribers in India alone.
Alfonso Perez-Soto, EVP, Eastern Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, Warner Music, said: “This is a partnership that will further boost our presence in India. We’ve got a strategy to engage with a wide range of artists and genres in India, and ramping up our presence in Punjabi music is central to that approach.”
Arun Nagar, CEO & Managing Director, Ziiki Media, added: “I’m so excited to be working with Warner Music and ADA. This deal will enable us to ramp up our presence in Punjabi music – discovering and signing more acts, creating more audiovisual content and getting more amazing music to fans. The appetite for Punjabi repertoire is huge, not just across India, but also around the world. This partnership also gives us the opportunity to explore interesting collaborations between our artists and Warner Music’s international talent pool.”
Eliah Seton, President, Independent Music and Creator Services, Warner Music, concluded: “The ADA team is super excited about this deal. Punjabi music is a thriving scene that’s been growing organically across India and beyond, and we can turbocharge that growth. We want to be the first choice for Punjabi acts who want to reach a global audience.”
The deal will see Ziiki’s Indian repertoire licensed to Warner Music’s ADA division and the newly launched Warner Music India, which opened for business in March.
India’s recorded music market has huge potential. It has the second largest population in the world, with more than 40 per cent of people aged 25 or under, and has a rich and diverse music tradition. While India is currently only the fifteenth largest music market, according to IFPI figures, it is expected to grow rapidly as internet access improves and data prices fall.