“The music PR and promotions game in India has completely changed,” says publicity expert Dale Bhagwagar

‘Musicians need to reinvent their brand in the new media market’

Bollywood’s only PR guru Dale Bhagwagar who practically invented the Music PR segment for independent PR agencies in India, says that the music PR and promotion game has totally changed in the last two decades.

He lists 4 major points:

1) In the 1990s, we had a lot of music companies. That scenario has changed, with one or two companies having their monopoly now.

2) In the 90s, most music companies used to pay a signing amount and also royalties to musicians. Now some companies ask for money from musicians to take them on board and showcase their music videos on their YouTube channels. So that too has changed.

3) In the 90s, music was released on audio cassettes (early 90s) and then on CDs. Now, most of the music is released on YouTube. It’s a paradigm shift.

4) In the 90s, we had a lot of music magazines and music websites promoting music content. Newspapers used to carry audio reviews every week. That too has changed completely. There are no audio review columns to be seen now. And hardly any music magazines and music websites either. Most of the music news now appears in the music sections of Bollywood websites or mainstream news websites.

Road to the future

So when every method of publicity has changed, where does that leave the promotions of singers, music composers, music albums, songs, singles and music videos?

“Musicians have to reinvent their brand in the new media market. Change is inevitable and if musicians do not move with the times, they will not only be replaced by the new lot, but also be forgotten on the world wide web,” states the PR expert.

And what is it that the musicians exactly need to do to keep themselves in circulation?

“See, most of the legacy websites and veteran websites now carry paid news. So musicians should focus on getting themselves featured with regularity on new-age websites, which still carry organic and unpaid content without disclaimers at the end of the news,” Dale explains.

“They should also start their YouTube channels and begin releasing singles and publicize them through news releases having video embeds on new-age websites. That’s a full-proof way to remain in circulation,” concludes the PR guru.

To sum it up, it’s about staying relevant and growing with a strong Google presence, we guess. It’s about innovating, adapting. It’s also about the survival of the fittest. And we hope most musicians are up to it.

Who is Dale Bhagwagar?

Dale Bhagwagar is the founder of the PR agency Dale Bhagwagar Media Group, which has been at the forefront of the entertainment PR brigade in India for two-and-a-half decades. Apart from handling the PR for top Bollywood actors like Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty and Priyanka Chopra, Dale has handled the media for movies such as the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Don, Farhan Akhtar-starrer Rock On and the post-release PR for the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Koi… Mil Gaya.

When leading music artists like Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota, Ghazal King Pankaj Udhas and Bhangra King Daler Mehndi signed Dale for their personal PR some two decades ago, he practically invented the Music PR segment for independent publicists and PR agencies in Mumbai.

The publicist has also handled the media for the Princess of Pop Anaida, Indi-pop rap star Style Bhai, Ghazal Queen Penaz Masani and Santoor Maestro Rahul Sharma.

PR expert Dale Bhagwagar

Apart from these names, Dale has handled the news media for many music companies, music videos, singers, music composers, music albums, movies, songs and singles, for which he has promoted the music of top names such as Aadesh Shrivastava, Anand Raj Anand, Anu Malik, Babbu Maan, Bappi Lahiri, Brooklyn Shanti, Dr Zeus, Gurdas Maan, Hans Raj Hans, Himesh Reshammiya, Ila Arun, Ismail Darbar, Jagjit Singh, Jatin-Lalit, Jazzy B, John Stewart, Karthik Raja, Nadeem-Shravan, Rajesh Roshan, Ranjit Barot, Sandeep Chowta, Sanjeev Darshan, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Shantanu Moitra, Sukhwinder Singh, Uttam Singh, Viju Shah, Vishal-Shekhar, Malika-e-Tarannum Noor Jehan and the legendary music composer Naushad.

He has also looked after PR for the music company Tips Industries Limited, musical serials like Deewane To Deewane Hai (Zee TV) and Geet Gaataa Chul (Zee TV), Shilpa Shetty’s international musical Miss Bollywood, the US-based philanthropy musical group Flute Theory, SS Ballet Academy, as well as book PR for renowned journalist-cum-author Chaitanya Padukone’s book RD Burmania: Pancha Memoirs.

Dale focuses on personal PR and branding for Bollywood celebrities, but accepts PR for select music artists, if he finds them passionate enough in their work. But having invented and revolutionized the Music PR segment for independent PR firms, he is no less than a living legend.

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