Warner to buy majority stake in India-based digital media and music firm, Divo

Shahir Muneer and Vishu Ramaswamy

Warner Music India (WMI) is expanding its presence in India’s entertainment sector with the acquisition of a majority stake in digital media and music company Divo.

Divo has a presence across all four South Indian language music markets. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in WMI’s Wednesday (February 8) announcement.

Founded in 2012 and launched two years later, Divo is a digital media company that offers online video, music distribution, publishing, digital and influencer marketing services for brands, celebrities and movies.

Since its inception, the company has worked with labels, artists and musicians to help distribute and monetize their content across digital platforms, radio and TV stations.

Divo claims to hold a large share of the Tamil language music market and a fair share of the Kannada, Malayalam and Telegu music industries.

In 2022, the company released more than 30,000 songs. The company is led by Shahir Muneer, who founded Divo as a startup YouTube Network.

Jay Mehta, Managing Director, Warner Music India, expects the acquisition of Divo to strengthen WMI’s presence in the south of India, allowing the group to have “a truly strong Pan-India presence.” Mehta joined WMI in March 2020 from Sony Music India, where he served as Director of Digital Business for a number of years.

“I’m so delighted that we’re able to bring the Divo brand under the Warner Music India banner,” says Mehta.

“Divo’s extensive portfolio will not only bolster our core music offering in South India, but its entire artist-influencer ecosystem will further enhance our overall entertainment footprint.”

Jay Mehta, Warner Music India

“Divo’s extensive portfolio will not only bolster our core music offering in South India, but its entire artist-influencer ecosystem will further enhance our overall entertainment footprint,” Mehta added.

Warner Music Group’s Indian arm has expanded its presence in the Indian market since its launch in 2020. The company has since partnered with companies including Global Music Junction’s entertainment firm JetSynthesys, Punjabi music company Sky Digital, Bollywood specialist Tips Music and Punjabi music specialist Ziiki Media.

WMI recently ventured into Marathi and Gujarati music with the release of official film soundtracks, bolstering its presence in the regional music scene. WMI also has a regional imprint with its sub-label Maati.

Alfonso Perez Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Recorded Music, described the company’s acquisition of Divo as a major milestone for the group’s Indian journey.

“We opened for business in 2020 and through a series of strategic deals and culturally relevant artist signings have fast established ourselves as a key player in the market. We’re excited to partner with Shahir and Vishu and the team at Divo, who have built an amazing company that operates at the intersection of four key music markets. Together, we’ll take South Indian music to a global audience,” said Soto.

Shahir Muneer, Founder and Director, Divo, said:  “It gives us immense pleasure to partner with Warner Music India.  Having the backing of a global partner will put us on the map, helping us to be a force to be reckoned with when it comes to attracting talent and clients.  Our music business will benefit from better access to Warner Music’s global footprint and that will help us drive growth for our artist and label partners.”

Divo Director Vishu Ramaswamy, added: “We are glad to partner with Warner Music India for the next phase of our growth.

“Our ideologies and long-term approach towards expansion in India connected in the right manner and with this association we’re sure that we will become the biggest entertainment entity in South India.”

For Divo, the partnership marks its latest alliance with a global music label. In September 2020, the company partnered with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to administer its publishing rights for overseas markets.

The partnership saw Divo’s songwriters, composers and lyricists getting access to Sony/ATV’s publishing and administration services.

Music Business Worldwide

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