This AI-powered music licensing marketplace helps content creators choose their own music
“Music is the soundtrack of life”, and this could not have been any truer today as billions of people across the world daily consume movies, web shows, vlogs, podcasts, gaming streams – content that requires music. Valued at USD 104.2 billion in 2020, the global creator economy’s 50 million individuals are struggling to find original music for their content.
Mumbai-based music licensing app Hoopr is creating a thriving ecosystem of content creators who can easily license music and sound effects for their videos. Its parent firm GSharp Media is a music-tech company started by music producer Gaurav Dagaonkar and entrepreneur Meghna Mittal. The company works on building media-tech products and plans to grow its IP offerings with the expansion of its content arm Songfest, which counts brands such Mars Wrigley, Nestle, Viacom18, BharatPe, Culture Machine, Hike and Magicpin amongst its clients.
The COVID-19 pandemic fuelled the digital revolution and accelerated the growth of content creators, social media community engagers, and even curators. During this time, Gaurav and Meghna realised that their agency and brand clients were actively looking to license Indian music but were not able to find relevant content. They themselves experienced this pain point while creating promos and marketing videos for Songfest. But the turning point came when one of India’s leading content creators, Anushka Sen, got a Content ID claim on YouTube and called Meghna to buy a license. A subsequent deep-dive by the founders into the creator economy numbers revealed that millions of creators in India require music for their content and are willing to buy licenses to avoid copyright claims.
Having launched the platform now, the industry envisages Hoopr to be a potential go-to marketplace for video creators, who are actively engaged in utilising AI in helping them in finding the perfect music for their videos.
With its novel and aggressively calibrated moves, Hoopr is likely going live with around 25,000 music tracks through their subscription model, which is priced at an affordable Rs 99 per month. Post launch on a consecutive basis supported by startup estimates, they shall be uploading nearly 250 new tracks and 250 SFX on their platform monthly.
With an enthusiastic team, the company has already started getting clear traction from content creators. As a result, the platform has advanced from static to being a dynamic one. A lot of effort is invested in fingerprinting, meta tagging, DRM and security components. Along with the micro-licensing model, the platform shall also soon launch its macro licensing (pay per track) feature that will enable brands, agencies, OTT platforms, and production houses to easily license any track from multiple labels and popular artists.
Market stats: Problem and opportunity analysis
Hoopr is tapping into a USD 3.8 billion sync licensing market with a >10 percent Y-o-Y growth. India itself offers over 60 million active content creators, out of which nearly 2 million pursue making videos as a full-time career. Globally, creators pay about $7-8 per month for subscription. Unfortunately, there is no music licensing that exists for Indian or Asian contenders.
Hoopr captured this opportunity, made in India and built for the world. Its web app uses AI-enabled search and recommendation and multilingual keywords tags with gamification and access to stems soon to follow.
Hoopr is following an aggressive go-to-market strategy by clinching few deals in the business premium and enterprise area. With 500+ users on the platform,the business has started generating revenue through its premium licenses. The track ‘Satrangi’ was licensed to Zivame via the agency The Voice Authority. Another Hoopr track ‘Single Single’ sung by Nikhita Gandhi, was licensed by Viacom 18, for their Valentine’s day campaign. Brands such as Dr Vaidya’s, Symbo Insurance, Orange Videos etc. have also used music from Hoopr for their product and social media videos.
In the enterprise section, they have secured a deal with a mobile internet platform ‘Eight Network’.
Funding and growth plans
GSharp Media has secured funding to the tune of $1.5 million from the likes of 9Unicorns, Venture Catalysts, Inflection Point Ventures, 91 Ventures as well as investors such as Ashneer Grover, Sahil Barua (Delhivery), Pradyumna Agrawal (Temasek), Giridhar Malpani, Anuraag Srivastava (Rainshine Entertainment) amongst others.
Hoopr plans to use the funds on tech offerings, the recommendation engine, increasing its content library, and onboarding users. Music that can be licensed for the metaverse and collaborations between artists and content creators in a Web 3 X Music space is also on the cards.
With persuasive efforts on qualitative expansion, they have obtained over 2500 sound effects from crowded Mumbai streets, Indian college festivals, Varanasi, Bengaluru markets etc. which are not available elsewhere. Hoopr has also onboarded top singers like Nikhita Gandhi, Ash King, Monali Thakur, Mame Khan, and Palash Sen.
GSharp Media’s arm Songfest has successfully conceptualised and executed the brand campaign for Dr. Vaidya’s Chyawanprash range starring Kishwer Merchant. The film has already accumulated over 1 million views on YouTube. They have also shot a film for global brand ResMed, a medical device company, starring Baba Sehgal and content pieces for brand Mother Sparsh.
Their 5-Star Valentine’s Day campaign, with more than 3.2 million views, has been nominated for Kyoorius, one of the most prestigious creative awards in India. With this, they are on the right track for achieving a revenue run rate of Rs 65 lakh in Q1 of 2023. The YouTube channel of Songfest has been able to attract 100 million views across 102 videos with a YouTube subscriber base of over 512,000 users.