NEW DELHI – Music publishing company Sony/ATV, co-owned by The Michael Jackson Family Trust and Sony Music Global, has entered India’s nascent music publishing market via a strategic alliance with Sony Music Entertainment India.
Sony/ATV will manage Sony Music India’s publishing works overseas while Sony Music India will manage Sony/ATV’s international repertoire – which includes The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Elvis Persley, Shakira, Pitbull, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, Beyonce and Lady Gaga — across India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Sony/ATV will also focus on representing Indian talent while it already administers over 2,000 of Sony Music India’s works across genres such as Bollywood and south Indian films and non-film talent in overseas markets.
Sony/ATV becomes the second major to enter India after Universal Publishing which has a presence here via a joint venture with Mumbai-based Deep Emotions.
“In India, the publishing Industry is at a nascent stage and we are very excited to have entered into a joint venture with Sony/ATV to develop this business. Through this venture we will represent their 750,000 plus global assets in India and Sony/ATV will represent Sony Music India musical works internationally. There is a huge opportunity in India and we believe in the span of three years it will constitute a third of the music industry in value,” said Sony Music Entertainment India and Middle East president Shridhar Subramaniam.
“India is an extremely vibrant growing music market and there is a huge scope for the publishing business here. We along with Sony Music plan to nurture, develop and grow this segment and we together hope to create some significant revenue opportunities,” added Sony/ATV Music Publishing SVP Guy Henderson.
India is currently in the midst of a heated debate over proposed amendments to update existing copyright legislation. The Indian film music industry – which dominates the overall music business — has traditionally worked on a “work-for-hire” basis where film producers and banners buy all rights from composers, lyricists and performers for a one-off fee leaving creators with little chances of receiving regular revenues via publishing.
The “work-for-hire” culture was further cemented with a 1977 Indian Supreme Court judgment which held that the ownership of all underlying works that were incorporated into a movie vested with the film producer (the commissioner of the work), unless a contract provided otherwise.
India’s Copyright Act is due for a debate in Parliament following various proposals to amend the act and bring it at par with international norms.