MBW’s World Leaders is a regular series in which we turn the spotlight towards some of the most influential industry figures outside the US and UK markets. In this feature, we speak to Cris Falcão, Ingrooves Music Group’s Managing Director in Brazil. World Leaders is supported by PPL.
Brazil’s record business is booming. The country saw its sixth consecutive year of recorded music revenue growth in 2021, according to Pro-Musica Brasil, reaching BRL 2.111 billion (approx USD $391m), which was up 32% year-on-year.
Brazil, the world’s 11th largest music market in 2021 (behind Italy at No.10), according to IFPI data, was also last year’s biggest market in the Latin America region, which itself experienced its twelfth straight year of growth in 2021, with revenues up 31.2% YoY.
The recorded music sector’s growth in Brazil was largely driven by streaming, which accounted for 85.6% of the market in 2021.
Notably, of the Top 200 streaming tracks in Brazil in 2021, 61, or 30.5% came from artists classified as an ‘Independent Artist’.
Cris Falcão, Managing Director of music distribution and marketing company Ingrooves Music Group in Brazil, tells MBW that she “predict[s] real growth” for Brazil’s independent artist market in the coming years.
“The independent industry is becoming more and more structured and formalized,” says Falcão.
“As a result, artists, agents, and managers have better conditions to manage their content and careers. And important players are active in the sector, which guarantees better results for the overall indie industry.”
Sao Paolo-based Falcão was named MD of Universal Music Group-owned Ingrooves Brazil in January 2020, when the company expanded into the market and signed a deal with prominent Brazilian funk label, GR6. Ingrooves now works with 89 independent label partners in the market.
Falcão joined Ingrooves following more than 15 years in Brazil’s independent music industry, starting her career in music publishing at Fermata do Brasil and later founding indie label and publisher, Cada Instante.
Here, Cris Falcão tells us about her career in the music industry, challenges and opportunities in the Brazilian market, her objectives for 2022, and what she’d change about the music business and why.
Could we start at the beginning of your music career, how did you first get into the music business?
I began my career in the financial arena, specifically in the automotive industry and later in the finance area of a major consulting company. My music industry journey began in 2004 when I joined one of Brazil’s largest independent music publishers, Fermata do Brasil.
I managed the company for almost 15 years, navigating all of the changes stemming from the industry’s transition from a physical to a digital market. My experience there enabled me to become an expert in copyright management.
“As an entrepreneur in the Brazilian music industry, I also felt it was important to help educate people about the industry.”
In 2018, I founded Cada Instante, a label, publisher, and accelerator for artists designed to strengthen the independent music scene. In 2019, I became the head of Brazil’s chapter of the international NGO Women in Music, where I worked to expand the role of women in the Brazilian music market through workshops, partnerships with brands, festivals, and conferences throughout the country.
As an entrepreneur in the Brazilian music industry, I also felt it was important to help educate people about the industry. There was very little access to information or the ability to really learn about the music business.
To this day, I continue to teach music business and copyright courses, dedicating part of my time to mentoring non-profit projects and organizations to develop artists and music entrepreneurs.
What was the music business like in Brazil at that time?
Twenty years ago, the market was basically physical as Brazil was late to enter the digital market. We were still bringing downloads to Brazil. It was a long process to go from physical to digital with some resistance from the industry.
“Streaming was a big milestone for Brazil.”
Streaming was a big milestone for Brazil. Streaming helped us become more democratic and enabled Brazilian artists to reach everyone. Even in a poor economy, we see the growth of subscriptions that can lead us to a better level of revenue in the future.
You were appointed as Managing Director of Ingrooves Brazil in 2020 and tasked with leading the company’s expansion into the market – could you tell us about some of the highlights from the past couple of years?
We started a couple of weeks before the world pandemic, signing the biggest Brazilian funk label, GR6. Culturally, business in Brazil is based on face-to-face interaction, so being locked down without the possibility to meet people in-person presented an unanticipated set of challenges.
We had to be creative and methodical in our approach and strategies when launching and building our business during this time. Since launching in 2020, we are extremely proud to be working with 89 labels across all of the different genres in Brazil.
Over the past year, some of our key projects have included Anavitória, who brought home two Latin GRAMMYs and made it to No.2 on Spotify‘s Global Charts. This past year, Ingrooves had the top song on TikTok with Bipolar (Mc Davi, MC Pedrinho & MC Don Juan), driving over 4 billion views on the platform. And Ingrooves had two songs on Spotify’s Top 2021 Songs – Bipolar and Liberdade (DJ Alok, MC Don Jan, DJ GBR). We are also working with legends Gilberto Gil (GEGE Produções) and Milton Nascimento (Nascimento Música).
They chose us to help take their historic catalogs to new audiences around the world.
What differentiates Ingrooves from other players in the Brazilian market?
We work with independent labels and artists to grow their audiences and businesses more efficiently and effectively while maintaining their independence and retaining complete control of their art.
“We have an in-house team of Ph.D. scientists, statisticians, and mathematicians working on innovative marketing methods to help labels and artists increase audiences, engagement, and streams.”
Our integrated global music team collaborates on commercial and marketing strategy while providing a comprehensive suite of services, actionable data-driven insights, and patented marketing solutions.
We have an in-house team of Ph.D. scientists, statisticians, and mathematicians working on innovative marketing methods to help labels and artists increase audiences, engagement, and streams.
Ingrooves’ pioneering marketing inventions have already been awarded two U.S. Patents with another in the works. We enable labels to address global music industry challenges and find solutions through a blend of technology, insights, and highly skilled music experts.
What are your objectives for Ingrooves in 2022?
We want to expand our presence and grow our brand in Brazil so that the music community understands how Ingrooves Brazil fits within the larger overall global operation and the depth of services we offer.
“We look forward to nurturing and investing in the independent record label landscape here in Brazil. It is also always our goal to help expand our local Brazilian artists into new territories.”
We look forward to nurturing and investing in the independent record label landscape here in Brazil. It is also always our goal to help expand our local Brazilian artists into new territories.
Ingrooves has aggressively expanded our global footprint and are able to help Brazilian artists penetrate new markets and seize opportunities wherever it exists in the world.
What are the biggest challenges for the music business generally in Brazil and globally in your opinion?
The global pandemic has really affected us in areas outside of streaming that have impacted income distribution and the migration of artists into non-music careers.
There are cases where you will see producers and artists who don’t have the resources or the ability after life circumstances have prohibited them from working in music.
“One of the biggest challenges in the overall global music industry is getting your music heard and building audiences with so many songs available to stream every day.”
Instead, they have needed to migrate into other sectors to survive. In Brazil, we also still face challenges in gender and age inclusion and decreased culture investments. One of the biggest challenges in the overall global music industry is getting your music heard and building audiences with so many songs available to stream every day.
What would you change about the music business and why?
I would like to see more women brought into the boardroom. We have come a long way but still have a lot of work to do as an industry to bring more female and LGBTQIA+ leaders into the art and business sectors.
Giving women the opportunity to become music industry executives is very important to me. The Ingrooves Brazil team is 100% female.
What advice would you give to a young executive starting out in the music business today?
Believe in yourself, be a self-starter, be tenacious, engage, keep your values, follow your dreams and break the mold.
World Leaders is supported by PPL, a leading international neighbouring rights collector, with best-in-class operations that help performers and recording rightsholders around the world maximise their royalties. Founded in 1934, PPL collects money from across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. It has collected over £500 million internationally for its members since 2006.Music Business Worldwide