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Indian live biz grows 25%, but profits flat

The Indian live entertainment industry grew by an estimated 25% in 2015 following a “surge in demand” for live events, new data reveals.

According to The Future: now streaming, KPMG’s 2016 report on India’s media and entertainment industries, the number of events increased by a quarter last year, buoyed by a strong economy, with live music (along with food, automotive and literary and art events) among the key drivers.

There was also a year-on-year rise in ticket prices – but no decline in football – and increased food and beverage spend.

However, profitability, found KPMG, was flat, with “margins under pressure”, and the industry continues to be beset by “structural problems – fragmentation, low barriers to entry [and] lack of benchmarking, among others – intensified by macroeconomic and regulatory challenges, such as tax uncertainty and excessive taxation, bureaucratic hurdles, lack of governance and regulatory ambiguity”.

“Live events can only grow if venues adopt the AEG business model: consistent quality at par across the country”

There are also concerns over the lack of suitable all-weather venues, with Mohomed Morani, director of promoter Cineyug, saying the sector can “only grow if venues adopt the AEG business model: consistent quality at par across the country”.

Fountained Promotions and Events chairman says the entry into the Indian market of larger international players will solve many of the industry’s current problems. “Consolidation is inevitable and will happen faster than we think,” he comments. “The benefits of being part of a larger entity are many: global best practices, systems and processes, cutting-edge international technology and management bandwidth can quickly be brought to India. Global media groups are very bullish on Indian IP [intellectual property] as a business segment.”

KPMG’s 2015 report predicted India’s music industry will almost double in value to ₹18.9 billion (US$278.2 million) by 2019.

 


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Indian ticketing giant BookMyShow grows 85%

BookMyShow, India’s largest primary ticket agency, returned to profit last year, its latest financial results reveal, with an 85% growth in turnover to ₹2.36 billion (US$35.24 million) for a net profit of ₹31.7 million (US$473,308).

The 2015–2016 financial year (FY16) marked the first time the company’s books have been in the black since 2012–2013 (FY13) – profitability being a “rarity in [the] Indian e-commerce sector”, says the Indian Economic Times – and compares to losses of ₹135.2m and ₹39.8m in FY15 and ’14, respectively.

Online/mobile platform BookMyShow, owned by BigTree Entertainment, leans towards film ticketing, which comprises around half of its business, with live events and sports contributing 35% and advertising the remainder. According to the International Ticketing Yearbook 2016, its share of the Indian live entertainment market stands at 85–90%.

The company in July raised over $80m in venture-capital funding from the US-based Stripes Group, whose managing partner Dan Marriott said BookMyShow is “uniquely positioned to tap into India’s […] entertainment market, which [is] among the fastest growing globally”.

 


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EDC continues global expansion with Indian event

Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), one of the world’s largest dance music festivals, will this year expand to a fifth country with the launch of EDC India.

The festival, a joint venture between Live Nation’s Insomniac Events and local promoter Only Much Louder (OML) and sponsored by Budweiser India, will take place in an as-yet-unannounced venue in New Delhi on 12 and 13 November.

Since its inception as a one-day festival in Los Angeles in 1996, EDC events have been held in cities across the US, as well as internationally, in the UK, Mexico and Brazil. (A spin-off festival was also announced for Tokyo but has since been called off.)

“I know India is a place where the magic of EDC can come alive in a truly unique way”

Vijay Nair, CEO of OML, says attendees can expect “one of the largest line-ups of international and Indian artists” at the “Vegas-style festival”, in reference to EDC’s flagship event in Las Vegas, Nevada. “We can’t wait to bring that experience to Indian fans and blow their minds,” he adds.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by [India’s] colourful and exotic culture,” comments Insomniac founder Pasquale Rotella. “I know it’s a place where the magic of EDC can come alive in a truly unique way, and we’ve got amazing partners in OML and Budweiser who can help make that happen.”

The location and timing for EDC India are key, as two of India’s biggest existing dance music events, Sunburn and Supersonic, are at loggerheads with the government of Goa after the state announced that their traditional Christmas/New Year slots are off limits in 2016. The Delhi event is, however, still comfortably within northern India’s cool season, meaning a repeat of the sweltering 109°F heat seen at this year’s EDC Las Vegas is unlikely.

 


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