To all Artists/Composers/Music Producers;

If you approaching me or If I approaching you for new album production, please understand that I have to spent Rs 1- 3 lakh/ RM 7- 20k, not including Manufacturing; which will cost me Minimum RM 3k and maybe goes higher depend on the inlay, sometimes have to spend extra for mixing and mastering. It will cost another RM 3k – RM 6k.

For Marketing and promotion – international labels spending twice or triple of their production cost. I don’t have that much budget and I won’t do coz I can produce 3 albums with that cost.

For Press release we should spent minimum Rs 1 lakh otherwise they won’t show interest Coz they always goes for sensational news; not for new artists, unless you have friends in media. International or Malay albums maybe different scenarios, Im venturing it now. Will learn it soon.

I visited personally each Tamil and English press people to publish the news in Malaysia previously. In India it is possible only through PRO, which again will cost lot.

I frequently visiting all the shops in Malaysia, India (Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore) and Singapore without revealing I’m the owner of the Agi Music; just to get their feedback on our releases, what are the top selling albums and how the feedback/support for original and piracy. How many major labels doing so?

Don’t simply come and approach me for your albums and end of the day blame me if it is not selling. Some artists sent their friends to all the shops to check and requests for the CDs; just to check whether it is available there or not. Shop owners telling me, they just checking but not buying sir. We always facing this, so please don’t force us to place your CDs because its not selling. Instead of invoices, we have more returned CDs slips. Further we have to wait for 6 months for sold CDs payment. But all our non film albums are precious. Im proud and satisfying with those releases. Thats keep motivating me to explore more and keep investing in this industry.

I had visited personally all the Indian radio channels for airplay of our songs. They showed interests only in film music or specific genres base on their target audiences. Gayathri’s Kanda Naal is first Carnatic New Age Album in the market which I released in 2007 (if not mistaken) or we may call it as an alternative genre (anyway most of the services are not categorising the albums/songs in accurate genres category). We didn’t got the airplay because they never experienced such genre before. For some of our releases; some radio channels requested huge sum as ad campaign to play our songs frequently. Some requested us to provide royalty free authorisation letters for airplay; even for film music, so they can avoid paying royalties to performing societies. Will it going to help the artists, label or songwriter, financially?

In Indian music scenarios, how many labels releasing CDs? Even movie songs in CDs? I visited shops and dealer in Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. Their replies are; many goes to pirates or original with 50 MP3 songs in one CD; Not Audio CDs.

Once we released CDs, I have to beg the shops to place our Non Film Albums to display in their shops. Those who knew me, allowed me to place the CDs in right; visible places/row. I did that personally most of the time. Even sometimes without their permission. 🙂

There after launching function expenses, distribution expenses, Facebook advertisement and print media expenses. Ad campaign will reach almost 6k people in my experience but those who click or like are just below 50 people. Yet, again it is another cost me for me. But in 50 clicks/likes; how many buying it actually? I deleted all the album ads campaign from Facebook as it exceed my budget and I’m unable to advertise my recent survey posting. Otherwise I will share those details as well but it is same scenarios for album ad campaign too. News papers ads too same but to sell 1000 CDs it took almost 2 years.

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In Malaysia how many legal CDs are available? You, as a creative person, ask yourself how many CDs you are buying legally; how much your spending on legally available music? Here is mine. Im still and always goes for legal.

 

 

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iTunes is my favorite because through family purchase package, 6 family members can enjoy everything I purchased. I 3 of my friends in my family sharing. They enjoying it for free.

My Second choice is Spotify because their playlist base on moods, my favorite genres and artists.

 

Ask yourself, do you buy CDs or Download Pirates or Just enjoying all the music via YouTube?. YouTube paying 0.00175 USD for per stream, if it is with Advertisement. Is it worth for artists, composers and label? Again have to pay to public performance society, tax for royalties, copyright regulations fees and court fees if there is piracy or copyright conflicts.

 

 

Market are evolving in streaming coz that’s the cheapest way to consume legal songs. It is not a valuable revenues for new artists or niche Labels like us, unless more millions streaming took place through premium subscription.

How many Indian labels are releasing non film albums now days? Those who releasing goes for quantities; not qualities. Im very much impressed with EMI music India’s previously for their none film albums. But unfortunately they left the industry and their catalogues went to Universal Music and Sony Music (and I think they still figuring out how to categorise/place/sell it :).  But again, same as streaming; releasing non films albums; depend on quantities. That’s how they making revenues. I don’t have that much budget to release, even an album per month. Just imagine, even EMI cannot sustain in the market :(.

As an Artist, Song Writer, Music Producer, I appreciate your talent and creativity. It’s gift from Almighty. And I too gifted with a talent to do hardwork to sell/push your albums. But the market responses and sales sometimes will be out of our expectation. Even major labels are facing the same problems after spending lot in marketing and promotion.

When MSV conquered the Tamil film music industry; Ilaiyaraaja came with new trend and wave with Machana Paaetheengala song. He ruled for 20 years. But not all are gems and successful financially. What promotions or marketing he did or the producer did? And what happened now to those producers?

There after AR Rahman with his Chinna Chinna Aasai from his debut album Roja became famous and he became as new trend setter and the wave still vibrating in Market. He gave hope for many new comer and non film artists/albums. What marketing and Promotions he did? Or the producer did?

In this current digital era; among many popular composers; Anirudh became new trend setter with Why This Kola Very song. It went viral through YouTube sharings. No money spent for any promotions or marketing and even the video recorded unprofessionally.

Santhosh Narayanan doing a great job but I dont think it is commercially successful. Think Music should knows better on this as they are the one mostly releasing his music.

Music business is a gamble. Some become hits and some loss. Some we thought will be hit but it will flop; some we thought maybe will reach niche audience but it will goes viral. I experienced it when I released Mayakkannadi by Ilaiyaraaja and Naan Avan Illai by Vijay Anthony at same period. Instead of Naan Avan Illai, I love Mayakkannadi but Naan Avan Illai became hits and it is still generating revenues :).

Tower Records, Music World (India), RDio, WowLoud, Flipkart and more have been closed and leave the music industry. How many Indian labels in Malaysia releasing albums or even film music now days? Veenai, Alai Osai, Suara network, JS Raaga, Five Star all gave hope in Music Industry long time back.

In India (if not mistaken between 2011 – 2012), when oversea venture capitalist show interest for investing in India; one of the industry they thought will be promising is entertainment, because the market size for Indian entertainment industry is bigger and the population. Thats the period, T-Series, Sony, Universals and others more aggressively playing big parts in Movie and Music market. Some new comers entered/established their self  in market like Think Music, Hungamma and others. We may know the results in near future :(. Coz biggest corporate players will take at least 5 years to realise whether their investment generating profits; same as Apple.

The only lone survivor and still keep the spirit is Agi Music. 🙂 I’m proud for that. And other labels who are same as me; give 5 :).

Thanks to Almighty and for all the fans who still supporting legal music purchasing.

For some albums, I committed and spent for my love towards their talents/friendship. If its not doing well; don’t blame me. I don’t have big, talented and great teams. I can’t effort financially to do so. I handle it all by my own. Everyone in the music industry in India and Malaysia knew that.

The scenarios will be different, if I release top artists’ albums. I don’t have that budget for that. No investors interest in music business. No Banks entertain music business. To approach and convince them, we have to show unrealistic plan and anonymous teams members :).

How Mozart’s, Beethoven’s and Thiagraaja’s music still sustaining in the market even after more than 200 years? They didn’t seek for popularity and fortune. It was their passion and they composed because of their passion in Music. And most of the time they composed to overcome their depression and rejection from the market/ audiences. They never did any analysis on the market and trends; never expect anything in returns. Every artists now days are earning and living through the revenues they earning from those geniuses’ compositions. Musicians are dead long time back. What we are hearing now days are just a product from some business people (composer/artist). I appreciate the street musicians more than those in limelight.

But of course I might be wrong coz it can be proven in 100 years later from now, to realise whether it is just a product or masterpiece; if it is survive for such a long period, more cover versions, more performances and if people appreciate it for such long period. Maybe Ilaiyaraaja or AR Rahman will be in the list. I dont know, frankly.

Those who talented and passion in music and not much interest in popularity or money; approach me. Lets spread the love to the world through music.

I stopped long time back to get albums on royalty basis coz they think they are great artists and composers and believe their albums doing well but thinking that we are making few hundred thousands or millions but showing them only few hundred or thousands on royalty reports.

After paying your royalties, I still need to pay my office rental, staff and other regulations costs. How much you think I can make out of it for me and my family? I’m still here coz this is my passion, dream and interest. I love and enjoy taking the risk and struggles. Many thought and thinking that I am not a business man. I agree, I’m not a business man; I am MUSIC MAN.

If you confident in your great talent, please approach Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music, Think Music or any other companies.

Agi Music have our own terms. Our releases are unique and niche. Coz that’s my passion. I’m willing to spend, if I believe you will be the next trend setter but of course with my own terms and condition; not with your terms 🙂

I believe you all are talented, of course. Boost your confident and start your own independent labels. Selling it digitally though CDBaby (others digital distributors are interest in huge catalogues and some are expensive to distribute your music).

Change music labels scenarios like USA and Europe where 100 of independent labels are keep entering as many major labels not entertaining and respect their unique talents, or sell it directly to those who praise your music/talent, I saw many of those kind of artists on my Europe trips.

Change it. Take the challenge. I too like to see many competitors in this industry. It will motivate me. It’s boring without competitors. 🙂 Otherwise compose like Mozart or Thiagaraaja for the benefit of future generation.

Read my Tamil blog to see how to start your own record label at http://meedpu.blogspot.my/2010/10/blog-post_02.html?m=1

I will write in English soon. Make resolution to start your own label and contribute to the music lovers. It’s still not too late.

Jai Ho

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