Warner Music officially launched in India, as the company announced its newest affiliate with former Sony Music India executive Jay Mehta as managing director.
His purview will also cover the other markets in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC): Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Based in Mumbai, Mehta will report to Alfonso Perez-Soto, Warner EVP of Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
According to IFPI, India is the 15th largest music market in the world. With more than 1.3 billion people, it is the world’s second-most populous country. In 2018, streaming revenue represented 69.7% of the total music market in India. During the same year, streaming revenue rose 30.9%, driven by local services as well as international players.
At Sony Music India, Mehta was director of digital business. Previously, he was Regional Director for the Reliance Broadcast Network. He also had stints at Reliance Communications and UNINOT, the sixth largest telecom company in the world.
Mehta commented, “Music is a way of life here in India, a valuable pillar of our culture. There’s so much talent hungry for opportunity, and I’m looking forward to signing and serving a wide diversity of local artistry. India’s growing music audience will also benefit from this move, as we not only amplify our new rising stars, but Warner’s global superstars as well.”
Prior to launching Warner Music India, Warner Music titles were distributed in the country by Sony Music. Within the past year, Warner Music Group has also opened new offices in Turkey and Peru. It also acquired labels including Finland’s Monsp and Slovakia’s Forza, and announced a partnership with Nigerian independent record label Chocolate City.