Believe Acquires South Indian Film-Soundtrack Label Think Music In $14.6 Million Deal

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An aerial shot of Chennai, where Believe’s Think Music is based. Photo Credit: Karl Janisse

A little over three weeks after fronting $14 million for a 25 percent interest in indie label (and TF1 Group subsidiary) Play Two, Believe has purchased Think Music, “a leader in South India film soundtracks.”

The Paris-headquartered indie distributor and label Believe unveiled this latest acquisition today, via a formal release that was emailed to DMN. 76 percent of Chennai-based Think Music now belongs to Believe, which paid approximately $14.64 million (€13 million) for the interest, calculating at the present exchange rate. 14-year-old Think Music’s “current management team” is set to “remain in place” moving forward.

Think Music – which says that it releases “Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam film music content” – and Believe’s announcement message elaborates that the newly acquired entity “is known for owning for perpetuity a dynamic catalogue consisting of popular film, non-film and independent soundtracks.”

Significantly, given India’s quick-growing entertainment industry, Think Music, as “a pioneer in promoting and introducing young talent,” has “launched over 40 debut composers” – Santhosh Narayanan, Ghibran and Hiphop Tamizha among them, according to the involved parties. Also worth highlighting is Think Music’s strong digital presence, for the company’s YouTube channel boasts nearly 11 million subscribers and has racked up a total of roughly 7.44 billion views to date.

Regarding Believe’s broader position in India’s recorded music space – which higher-ups note is “expected to become a top 10 market globally by 2027” – the business’s eight-year-old operations in the nation of about 1.38 billion persons encompass 171 employees and offices in seven regions.

Additionally, the 16-year-old entity, which arrived on the stock market earlier this year, bought Venus Music in 2019 and renamed the indie label Ishtar Music in August of 2021. Ishtar currently has 35 million YouTube subscribers and some 13.83 billion on-platform views.

Addressing the purchase of Think Music in a statement, Believe India managing director Vivek Raina said: “I am delighted to associate Believe with Think Music the leading South Indian film soundtrack label, founded and run by Swaroop Reddy and his brother, two talented entrepreneurs with a high reputation in the local music and movie industry.

“I am confident that we will work together to accelerate Think Music digital growth and provides artists with shared expertise and innovation,” concluded the more than eight-year Believe veteran Raina, whose company’s stock posted an almost one percent bump during today’s trading hours, finishing at about $20.76 (€18.43) per share.

Back in September, indie mainstay Merlin finalized an “enhanced global music licensing partnership” with JioSaavn, one of the most popular streaming platforms in India. And notwithstanding the continued regulatory scrutiny that it’s facing in China, Tencent owns a large stake in Gaana, another of India’s most prominent music streaming platforms.