Every single piece of content we watch is backed with music; every tv series, movie, Instagram reels, YouTube shorts etc. A company which wants to use a piece of music needs sync licensing, which is a license needed when any piece of music is accompanied by visuals. This is usually a time-consuming, complicated, and expensive process.
India is booming with cover songs; there have been times when the covers become more popular than the original. But what happens is that independent artist who put out such covers potentially lose out on monetising and exclusive rights for their songs as they are not licensed.
Fairplay has come to the field to solve both these problems: to help artists to license their music and assist companies to gain synchronization music licenses.
Founder and CEO Ravdeep Anand describes it as a one-stop platform for all things licensing for independent artists and companies.
Having previously worked in the music industry as part of music marketing, it is not Anand’s first venture into the field. He faced multiple queries about music licensing while working in the field. One such query came from a company looking for a piece of music for their upcoming video which required sync licensing. Looking for a solution to such a problem gave rise to the idea of Fairplay.
The music licensing industry consists of two aspects: the licensor and the licensee. Board member and advisor Priyanka Khimani told Entrackr, “One thing we observed is that independent artists and companies always face an issue filling up the forms for the process.” Fairplay provides an end-to-end service as its key feature.
“We not only help them with the filling out of forms for the process, but we also educate them, especially individual artists of their rights and how things are done,” said Anand.
Founded in 2021, Fairplay is a digital marketplace for all categories of owners of musical content – from artists, composers and songwriters, to record labels, publishers and distributors. Khimani describes it as ‘the Zomato of music licensing.”
Along with sync licensing, Fairplay’s role as a platform of music licensing involves tracking down pieces of music that follow their customer’s needs, scouting for the creator of the music and explaining and negotiating the use and terms of the license, only then does the licensing process come into play.
The music licensing process usually happens offline and involves exchanging emails which would take up to weeks to get the end result finally. With an aim to make music licensing easy, quick and accessible, Fairplay allows users to acquire all types of music licenses in 4 steps and ensures that artists get paid fairly.
The platform is already working with artists such as Divine, D’Evil, and Kamakshi Khanna as well as agencies such as Gully Gang, Export Quality, Shark & Ink, Big Bad Wolf and Third Culture. Choosing to focus on upcoming talents along with popular artists, Fairplay has onboarded music schools like True School of Music.
Currently, in the bootstrapped stage, the company soon plans on raising its first funding round.
Being one of the first platforms in the music, film and entertainment industry to assist in the process of music and sync licensing, the startup has few local competitors. Internationally, it will be competing against Songtradr and Lickd that too only to a limited extent since Fairplay offers a larger number of services when compared to these companies.
In 2021, the global music industry’s annual revenue was $25.9 million. At the same time, the Indian music industry was worth $ 230 million in 2021 and is expected to hit $ 339 million by 2024. An industry with such revenue outcomes is Fairplay’s market. With music being a part of various other markets, the company would also be involved with the OTT, films, gaming and live events industries.