No intent to commercialise Coke Studio Bharat: Arnab Roy
The vice president, marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, Coke Studio Bharat, speaks about the revamped IP, how differently it will operate, marketing plans and more…
Feb 03, 2023 10:04:00 AM | Article | Eularie Saldanha Share -
Coca-Cola India has announced the re-launch of Coke Studio India, which now goes by the name Coke Studio Bharat.
Before this, Coke Studio India featured live studio-recorded music performances by various artists, not limited to Indian origin. With this launch, the brand aims to divert focus back to talent within India only.
The brand will also roll out a film introducing the platform's new avatar, conceptualised by Ogilvy.
We caught up with Arnab Roy, vice president, marketing, Coca-Cola India and South West Asia, Coke Studio Bharat. Roy spoke to us about the intent behind the launch, how differently the IP operates now and the marketing plans for the property.
Coke studio used to be a part of MTV in India. How differently does it operate since it became a part of the Universal Music Group?
When we first launched Coke Studio, we had a broadcast-first approach. The media environment in India has changed since and we are the largest market for YouTube Music. This made us feel like we needed to have a digital-first approach. Since Bangladesh also falls under our business unit, we tried a small experiment by launching Coke Studio Bangla last year, which was also a digital-first property. It got a phenomenal response. Today, it’s already the second largest Coke Studio in the world, after Pakistan. With all of that, we found the confidence to be digital-first for India too.
Why has Coke Studio Bharat decided to rid musicians of other countries that also added a good flavour to the nature of the platform?
There’s enough music in India and so much potential here that we don’t need to go anywhere. We celebrate regional music. Since we have so much material within India, we have to stick here before we experiment. As a starting point, we’re going to be completely away from non-Indian artists.
I don’t know whether we’re going to open our doors to musicians of other origins sometime in the future.
Are you looking to get any advertisers on board?
No. As of now, there’s no commercialisation and we don't have any intent for it. We don’t know if that’s a model. In the first year - we gave complete freedom to the artists and we stayed back since it wasn’t our job. But, I’ve not seen a good business model yet. We must keep the music authentic without making it look like a commercial event.
What plans do you have for Coke studio Bharat in the next year?
As we’re working, we’ll be releasing the first song soon. We expect to have over 10 songs. Every song will be released between three to four weeks and we might slightly deviate, depending on whether there is a story, context or platform. We are also going to compliment it with live music events. My goal is to take it to places which don’t have airports. Concerts happen only in the Bombays of the world and it shouldn’t be like that.
Would you consider collaborating with brands at a live music event?
We don’t know that yet. It will all depend on what the business model is, at the time. We would be open to that, but it would be secondary.
What are your expectations from this launch?
I could have many expectations around numbers of how many people are watching and gauging. However, at first, let’s make good music that people like and if that happens it’ll work on its own. It does help us as a brand to connect in a more authentic way to Indian culture and there’s no other platform apart from music to help us do that.
What will be the media-mix to promote Coke Studio Bharat?
It’s going to be digital-first. There might be certain pieces on TV, but that’s rare. We’re also going to have radio partners.