Crescendo Music On Rights Buying Spree

Mumbai: | Updated: Nov 27 2002, 05:30am hrs
Crescendo Music, formerly BMG Crescendo, has been on an acquisition spree and has picked up the music rights to as many as 17 Hindi films over the last four months. The company is currently in negotiations with several producers and it is expected that it will acquire more projects shortly.

According to the companys managing director Suresh Thomas, the deals that have been struck so far have been a combination of royalty and advance payments. Among the films for which we have acquired the music rights are Satta produced by Metalight productions, the Aparna Sen directed Mr and Mrs Iyer and Om directed by Tinnu Verma, he said.

The companys foray into the Hindi film segment began when it bought the music rights of Danger and Paanch. The Hindi film segment is the single largest component in the Indian music industry since it accounts for over two-thirds of the market.

Crescendo had stayed away from the Hindi film music segment since acquisition costs had touched all-time highs and companies were finding it increasingly difficult to recover their investments. For instance, Sony Music bought the music of Lagaan for Rs 7 crore while Universal Music picked up the music of the Rs 50 crore Devdas for an astronomical Rs 12 crore. Today, acquisition costs have fallen and several deals have been struck on a royalty basis.

Incidentally, Crescendo had bought out the 70 per cent stake held by its foreign partner - BMG - and signed an agreement to manufacture and market BMGs international catalogue for the Indian market. Since then, Crescendo Music has made an entry into the hardware segment by launching VCD and DVD players besides home theatre systems and personal stereos. Mr Thomas said the hardware side of the business was progressing smoothly.