T-Series head honcho Bhushan Kumar regrets that in spite of having some of the most sought-after film titles under his banner, his music company has not recovered the money they invested. “This year we had good releases. But the recoveries have not been as good as the costs,” confesses Kumar.
With films like RA.One, Mausam, Rockstar, Desi Boyz and The Dirty Picture in his kitty, that boast of chartbusters like Chamak challo… and Oh la la…, one would not expect Kumar’s crisis, but he insists that though the songs made a buzz and topped the chartbusters, they failed to recover the investment made.
Currently, a worried Kumar is busy brainstorming to re-strategise his forthcoming deals. “For me the cost of acquisition has to go down, otherwise it will be like the airline industry, where you put in money without getting any returns. We are working on a plan to make the prices come down,” says Kumar adding, “We pay around Rs. 5 crore to Rs. 6 crore, and the returns aren’t close to this.”
Ask him whether the proposed Copyright Bill is likely to change things around and clearly Kumar isn’t too convinced. “What we were offering them (producers) was the minimum guarantee amount. We pay them since they crores to record and shoot the song,” says Kumar.
And what does he think of music directors and lyricists pleading the government to give them royalty for their compositions from the very first day of its use? “They (music directors, lyricists) want royalties from the day the song gets aired. Ideally, we should be allowed to recover the costs and then pay royalties. So it’s a bit of a concern if we aren’t able to get back what we invested. Instead, we will have to pay music directors and lyricists.”
Kumar feels the new copyrights act may make it twice as hard for many like him. “If the act becomes instrumental, we will have to reduce the cost of acquisition. It’s the only way to handle the situation,” says Kumar adding, “If the music suffer losses, and say, if I spend Rs. 4 crore and recover only Rs. 2 crore, it means I am already in loss. So from that Rs. 2 crore if I have to pay royalty, it means a double loss for me.”
Celebrated music ensemble in city
Agroup of celebrated musicians are coming together to present an ensemble called Beats and Winds. The event will feature Trilok Gurtu, Grammy-winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, falutist Ronu Majumdar and jazz saxophonist George Brookes. Roop Kumar Rathod, famous for the song Sandese Aate Hain (1997) will be the vocalist. Scheduled to be held this Thursday, at Shanmukhananda Hall, Sion from 7.30 pm onwards, the event will feature classical music with a touch of Sufi music.