Norwegian music industry’s export facilitator and promotional organisation.

India at the Øya Festival – Akhila Shankar of JioSaavn

By Carl Kristian Johansen Posted: 05. Aug, 2019

Akhila Shankar of JioSaavn.

India represent an emerging market in the global music industry, with a 24,5% increase in revenue in recorded music in 2018 compared to global growth of 9,7%. India is currently the 15th largest market for recorded music in the world, and IFPI’s Global Music Report expects India will reach top 10 within 2022.

Øya International is a business-to-business program that runs throughout the Øya Festival in Oslo. Among the almost 160 delegates from the Norwegian and international music industry at Øya International this year, there will be three special invites from India. Akhila Shankar, Amit Garbaxani and Roochay Shukla will be hosting a panel on Thursday on the Indian music market exclusively for the delegates, and we have done a Q&A with them.

Roochay Shukla of Outdustry
Amit Gurbaxani, music journalist

Akhila Shankar is the Assiciate Director – Brand & Communications at JioSaavn, Indias largest streaming platform. Shankar leads content marketing across music and podcasts.

– As a global music streaming service that is made for South Asians, we are uniquely positioned to work with content creators from India and around the world. My team work alongside artists and labels in overseas markets helping them break into the India market. In India, we work with artists/labels helping them reach a global audience.

– Are you looking forward to the Øya Festival and to see Norwegian artists?

– Yes! Psyched to catch Karpe and Sigrid. By the end of the festival, I hope to have discovered more artists from Norway.

Read more: Roadmap to India (Norwegian)

– How is the climate for Norwegian and international artists in India today? Do they stream a lot or is it mostly national repertory that Indians listen to?

– India is pretty interesting because we have 22 official languages including English. About 125 million people are English speakers, making it a very viable market for international music just by the sheer size. We are a multi-lingual country with many people speaking 2-3 languages at minimum. This also reflects in the country’s listening habits, which is usually an assortment of English, mainstream Hindi and some regional languages.

– Do you know any Norwegian artists, and how is their standing in the Indian market?

– Norwegian artists like Alan Walker and Kygo happen to be some of the 25 top streamed international artists in India, with Alan Walker at #1 this month on JioSaavn. Both artists have played tours in India as well. Slightly niche but there has always been a strong connect between the Norwegian and Indian metal communities. There is a loyal following for Norwegian black metal in India, we’ve had artists like  Dimmu Borgir, Satyricon, Mayhem and Enslaved touring in the past. We’ve also had a few Indian bands playing Oslo, particularly as a part of Inferno Metal Festival.


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