Believe Acquires ‘Punjabi Powerhouse’ White Hill Music’s Catalog: ‘One of the Most Popular Indian Genres Internationally’

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Believe India managing director Vivek Raina. Photo Credit: Believe

Against the backdrop of continued industry growth in India, population 1.41 billion, Believe has officially acquired the catalog of “Punjabi powerhouse” White Hill Music (WHM).

Paris-based Believe, which established a presence in India 11 years ago, unveiled the White Hill Music song-rights buyout today. As described by the publicly traded purchasing party, the deal is the culmination of a longstanding professional relationship with WHM.

To be sure, Believe has since 2017 assisted in digitalizing the work of WHM’s roster on various platforms, besides signing artist-services pacts with certain of the associated professionals. The acts who have benefitted from the latter – and whose work is in White Hill’s catalog – include Happy Raikotione (“one of leading lyricists in Punjabi music”) and “Sakhiyaan” creator Maninder Buttar, Believe noted.

Returning to the catalog play, neither of the involved parties has disclosed the precise financials behind the agreement. But the song rights of White Hill, billed as “one of India’s most established music and film production studios,” cover projects from “active top and established” artists such as Gurnam Bhullar, Nimrat Khaira, R Nait, Shivjot, and Akhil.

Additionally, the Think Music parent Believe has also assumed ownership of White Hill Music’s YouTube channels, which boast millions of subscribers and will be used moving forward to promote the back catalog of the business’s relevant artist-services clients.

In a statement, Believe India managing director Vivek Raina noted both the domestic prominence and international commercial results of Punjabi music.

“Punjabi music is not only the second largest Indian genre in terms of market share in India, but it is one of the most popular Indian genres internationally, with artists like Maninder Buttar or Gurnam Bhullar reaching audiences all around the world thanks to the vast Indian diaspora,” relayed the Believe exec of over a decade.

“It’s been a massive honor to accompany the growth and digitalization of White Hill Music’s fantastic roster and catalogue since 2017 and I’m now thrilled to see them join the Believe family for this new page of our common history!” concluded Raina.

Of course, Believe isn’t alone in making moves in India and investing in the broader South Asian music space; earlier in January, Universal Music went ahead and scooped up the entirety of Oriental Star Agencies’ own catalog, while Warner Music partnered with Pakistan’s Giraffe.

Worth noting in conclusion is that India last year reportedly generated a record 1.04 trillion on-demand streams across audio as well as video – second only to the United States (1.45 trillion) and well above third-ranked Brazil (373.5 billion).