Major brands looking to grow their business are trying to figure out how to reach and engage the affluent, educated and tech-savvy South Asian / Indian population here in the U.S. With their $90 billion purchasing power, marketers cannot assume mainstream advertising is enough to reach and engage this valuable segment.
To appeal to this huge emerging market there are a few things brands need to understand: deeply engrained cultural norms, the highly-skewed time spent on social media, and the shifts in digital services away from pirated sites. By understanding the South Asian demographic, culture and consumer, it becomes very apparent that music is one of the most powerful tools today for effectively reaching the South Asian market.
1) Music is an Advertiser's Best Friend
South Asians' passion for music is undeniable. Music is deeply engrained in Indian culture and people see it as a form of self-expression. It is at the center of family, social and religious events, and enjoying it is truly a social experience. In this market, music isn't just about listening - it's about sharing the experience with others. A recent Millward Brown Brandamp global study revealed that "music is the medium that people would least like to live without." Even India's $2 Billion movie industry revolves around music. The Indian film industry, which is the largest producer of films in the world, is known for its musicals, with almost every film produced revolving around song and dance. In fact, soundtracks for movies come out nearly two months before the movies themselves to promote the film and engage potential movie-goers because in India, these songs are a more powerful promotion tool than trailers, celebrity endorsements or advertisements. They've even gained a foothold in the US (remember "Jai Ho"?), especially on TV shows like Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.
2) Music and Social go together like Chicken Tikka and Masala
The two most powerful tools for reaching South Asians, of course, are music and social media. It dominates their time, attention and engagement on the Web and mobile and transcends generations. According to Entertainment Media Research, "two out of five social networks have music [links] embedded in their personal profiles."
With connectivity enabling widespread availability of digital music and the volume of sharing via social networks, brands are expanding their reach like never before. Quick and easy social integration with digital music means advertisements can now reach not only listeners, but their entire social network. Music is one medium that drives people to engage with one another. For any marketer looking to capture the hearts and attention of the South Asian consumer, with the furthest reach, smallest cost and potential to spread like wildfire, digital music is the path to active consumers that will engage with their brand.
3) Digital Music Gets Legalized
Until very recently, music piracy has been a digital epidemic and there were not legitimate means to get access to South Asian music online. This widespread phenomenon was bad news for South Asian record labels and advertisers alike. Record labels' ability to make money from their investments in content was significantly impaired. Advertisers sat on the sidelines frustrated by their inability to reach over 125 million online listeners in the US, India and other key markets.
The emergence of legal digital and mobile music sites such as Saavn.com and Saavn's apps on iPhone and Android now allow brands to reach millions of consumers through music by connecting them to the music they care about the most. Brands now have an avenue to be part of this intimate experience, whether through associations or interactive promotions, and add value to the lives of listeners.
For more information on how Saavn can help you connect with the South Asian/Indian market here in the US, please contact Meg Paintal at 646-660-9411 or email@example.com. Visit www.saavn.com and check out our apps in the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
Saavn is the fastest-growing music service for South Asian music, worldwide.
With content from hundreds of music labels, Saavn delivers the best of Bollywood, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati and more to millions of users each month. With smart search, fast results, and a seamless, on-demand listening experience, Saavn is often referred to as the "Spotify of India."
Saavn's Android and iPhone Apps are amongst the highest-rated in any marketplace and consistently top sales charts in both the iTunes App Store and the Android Marketplace. Saavn is rolling out breakthrough features in the South Asian music space (like Saavn Radio) and has many more exciting product and content plans in the works. Saavn is bringing the fun back to Indian music - we hope you like what you hear!