[00:00:08] Speaker A: Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Music Industry 360. I'm Randall Foster and this is Symphonics Podcast, where we talk about all things music industry oriented. Today with me, I have my great friend and colleague Ian Bueno, real name Ian Bueno. Ian is the head of Symphonic Brazil and has had a very impressive career in the Brazilian music market, which is fascinating to me because it's a market I have very little experience with personally. And so I hope that we'll learn a lot from Ian today and get some tips and tricks and learn more about what's going on in Brazil and how to pursue that market. So, Ian, thank you for joining us today.
[00:00:56] Speaker B: Hey, Hendrix, really nice to be here. I'm glad to talk about you, about all this information. It's been a huge honor to build all this work that we have been doing the last two years with Syfonic here and being able to see so much great stuff and learn a lot with you guys. So it's been a great journey so far.
[00:01:19] Speaker A: Well, I would agree with that, and it's been great having you on the team. I want to talk definitely about some of the things that you've accomplished over the last couple of years and what we're seeing in the Brazilian market. But first, I would really like to start kind of at the beginning for you. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Where are you from? How did you get involved in music? What steps brought you to Symphonic great?
[00:01:47] Speaker B: So I was born in 1993 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Sao Paulo is the biggest city, is the business capital from Sao Paulo. It's a really huge city. So I was born here, and since the beginning of my teenage, I was starting to get involved with music, playing drums, and I started to have my own rock band and playing around, starting to compose songwriting songs and starting to release. So it was something that really got me involved with since really young age.
So with 16 years, I was already managing my band.
I was no idea that I was doing that, but it's just starting to understand the thing more as the process of doing this thing. Like, you need to manage people, you need to manage time, you need to manage money. And I was really connected with that part. So since I engaged, I was already like, okay, this is something that I want to pursue for my life.
Of course, at that time, I was looking to really be a musician and playing around.
But when I started to go to the college and study social communication, marketing, publicity, I was really interested in the way of applying all the things that I was learning into my band. So I understand how to create a website.
I was already distribution things on SoundCloud on YouTube. So since the beginning, I was really interested in that part. So I started to work also in some publicity agencies and stuff like that.
And then it was like 2014, I had an opportunity to join as intern in one Rpm that was starting to build their office in Brazil. It was really the beginning of the streaming market in Brazil. Spotify was like just arriving. Diesel was here for like one year. We have RDO that no longer exists anymore too. So in 2014, I was reintroduced to this new market that in less than ten years becomes so big and huge, and you see a lot of things happen after that. So since the beginning of this new era of the business, I was really introduced to that. So I really get involved. And when I realized that, I was much more realized that doing that than playing around. So I really decided to go for it. And I lived that 24/7 since then. So it's been a long journey, but I'm really happy for all the stuff that happened. And it's been really a huge honor to see many young artists, independent artists, going, making success from zero. I have seen this so many times now and see how they we live in a really difficult country in terms of economics and stuff. So it's possible to see many artists that came in for poor areas or suburbs making their living and supporting their families. It's so great to see that and how this happens in the independent market. So I also see this as a really way of making a difference in things of the impact of the future, local future. So it's been great.
[00:05:55] Speaker A: That's awesome. Well, and I think it's really unique and great that you had to learn everything the hard way. As a member of a band, I think people come to this industry in two different directions. Either you can't carry a tune in a bucket and you just love music, or you had to figure it out yourself. And I feel like the folks that have to figure it out themselves tend to be a little scrappier. The Brazilian music market has really exploded. Like you said, after 2014, we're seeing double digit growth in the recorded music market in Brazil. Every single year between 2019 and 2020, it was a 23% increase in streaming income.
And now we're seeing recorded music looking like it's increasing in revenue by nearly 30%, where 70% of that revenue is based in streaming.
How have you seen it change in the time that you've been paying attention to it? You named a couple of services, RDO, which I loved RDO, and I was so what are the shifts and changes that you've seen that you think are most crucial to that growth in Brazil?
[00:07:17] Speaker B: So, I think specific, in the past, we have all the majors running through Centralization.
There are really few choices about what you can hear, and it was few places to distribute your music.
It was much expensive. So usually they have the power to decide what's going to be market around. So during the period that we have the beginning of the internet here and it was like that wild jungle that there is no law and people was just downloading everything and YouTube was just popping around. So this moment was like a really key moment that I think that makes the big change. Because many genres of music that was kind of marginalized, specifically urban music, specific body funk and things like that, that were kind people were trying the big majors were trying to hide that was happening. And then when that happened, it was like they just exploded so fast. So it was the possibility of the music, it was really marginalized, it becomes popular and everybody was able to get into that and it's pretty ahead really strong. So when YouTube born and Brazilian artists started to understand this it was really moment of it was the shift of the market completely because in one year or less you start to see huge artists and or huge labels, independent labels coming like Godzilla, gr six that are now today one of the biggest YouTube channels of the world. They were just starting there. So it was a really strong movement and since then like six years to here or 80 years from here now you see the impacts like the urban music just become like a really strong thing in Brazil. It's getting strong every year. And of course, we have traditional Brazilian music that's certain Asia that's still really strong and going to be always strong because it was since the beginning, a lot of money involved and it's something like brazil is a really rural country, so there is a lot of regional music and certain Asia it's really strong for years and will be always but urban music just came so strong specifically with funk that now merges with trap and we have trap funk and you have so many different combinations that become like a really unique movement of Brazilian urban music that took ahead since then. So it becomes much more now. I can see that we have a really creative moment that we have so many talents coming every year and something that's also unique from the market is that mostly 80% of the consumption of the music is local music. So when you think about a big country like that, it creates a really strong market by itself.
So it's been really interesting to see artists with millions of streams here that nobody knows in other place in the world and if you look at their numbers, some of them have more streams that act like legacy acts worldwide. So it's really unique to see that. So I think since eight years 2014 to now, the shift of the ways of getting your music available everywhere and now the distribution movement creates a really strong revolution in term of the indefinite and Brazilian music and still growing, still growing and we don't have many people still paying for streaming service.
Still something like for few people. So YouTube still like the biggest revenue. But this number is growing every year. Every year. So it's a really good moment and it's really interesting to see how things are going fast here.
[00:12:06] Speaker A: I love the focus on regional music and the fact that the consumption is so regional there. I think a lot of countries, they have great regional music but the focus tends to be on what's the top 40s that's hitting in the US and in Europe. And I think that's really something that feels pretty unique to Brazil to me.
You mentioned a little bit how YouTube is the main consumption point still for music.
I feel like though the DSPs are starting to finally the other DSPs are finally starting to get a foothold.
One estimate I see here has Spotify with 40% of the digital music segment in 2020. These are a year or two old but in a pool of users that is slated to grow to nearly 50 million users by 2026, I think. Do you see a big shift away from YouTube and the way we used to listen to other DSPs or do you think people are going to continue to listen wherever they listen and that that growth happens elsewhere?
[00:13:26] Speaker B: I really believe that of course the DSPs will keep growing, especially for young people.
But seems like still a really big challenge for Brazilians to understand that you need to pay for music. And that's important because we are always used to consume from YouTube and not paying for music. So it's natural. And of course there is a lot of economic barriers.
I believe that YouTube will keep really strong for years and years. But of course Spotify is getting bigger here every year. We have Diesel that has been doing a really great job specifically on Brazilian regional music and gospel. They created a really strong niche strategy that's been interesting to see. And we have other players coming also amazon, it was the last one to came around in Brazil. I think Reiso is going big here too. So it's been a big fight around.
[00:14:43] Speaker A: Good to hear. So you mentioned a number of Brazilian regional genres, bilefunk in particular.
If you were to guess what's going to be the next biggest genre coming out of Brazil across all genres. Do you have an idea of where that's like?
[00:15:03] Speaker B: We have a really strong movement now in of we have traditional faux haw in Brazil. That's a really regional music too.
Kind of similar, bit closer to certain Asia but still really unique for the northern area from Brazil. And more recently we have seen a new germs coming that's called Pisa Gin Pisiro. That's a kind of a new modern for all. And this looks really strong since like two years for now. It's become so popular that it's almost like as big as certain Asia now. And we have really new artists that two years to now, they are like the biggest stars of the country. Like baroness a pizza. Gin juan Bomis.
Tarsis de cordion. Those three names now in the last two years, from the Pandemic to now, they were one of the most popular figures in Brazil and it was a really new movement.
And I think that Pisa Gin, it will be something that's going to be worldwide sometime.
People will discover that because it's really good, actually.
[00:16:23] Speaker A: That's awesome. So let's talk about what you're doing for Symphonic in Brazil because I think it's pretty unique and incredible what you've built down there over the last two years.
For us, being a distribution company that focuses on Latin music as well as really every genre, opening up Nashville for Symphonic came with its fair share of struggles and great struggles, great challenges. It's fun to build a brand. And I felt that the first year I was building out the Nashville office I was having to explain to people a lot who we are. Who was it for you? I mean, I remember distinctly when you started and you gained momentum very quickly, I think.
[00:17:16] Speaker B: Yeah, I think this part of creating the brand and create a name and a reputation, it was the most interesting and the most challenging. But I was really convinced that this would be essential to create something that will make value to the artists. So the first thing, it was like, let's really be selective and let's focus on a specific niche. So we really focus in the beginning on the hip hop market in Brazil and we start assigning important names that will give us reputation and make us really people will understand that we are really into that journey that we understand. And we're going to be able to give the service that they expect because specifically the urban music scene in Brazil, you're really reading it's something there is few information around, so it's really difficult to understand all the process. So we create a service that was really taking them by their hand, teaching, making them understand how important is this process and how important is to have a strong partner with. So it was really fast because we was creating a good experience, a good service and then this client will talk about us to his friend that's also artist. So it was like the word to mouth was really strong for us because we are really focusing in a community.
So this was essential for the first year that we were able to build a really strong brand on this niche in a few months.
So now basically people understand that we are really specialization on that niche and artists are coming every day. But now the challenge is to also be more diverse. So we are now exploring regional Brazilian music too.
That's a really important market.
We are also working with some gospel artists and labels that's also a really important market here. So now we are trying to have more diversity in terms of germs inside our catalog. But the brand that we built in the urban music, it's really impressive and it's working by itself. Now people are just coming because they know that we are really good on that and created this brand that is selective and that's really priorities and really given the power to them. Like, look, this is information, let's schedule a call. We're going to teach you how to upload. We do a really onboarding in video to then understand without a process so they can make their business going without many.
That's great work. So that's basically what we have been.
[00:20:34] Speaker A: Doing here and still maintaining that quality control to make sure you're working great artists.
My favorite story from the Brazil office from the early days of you launching was that of Sabotage.
[00:20:49] Speaker B: Oh, yes.
[00:20:50] Speaker A: And what we were able to do with Sabotage, which to lots of our listeners this is an artist who you may not recognize the name, but he's considered to be one of the most influential, well known rappers from Brazil ever.
And unfortunately passed away in 2003. But taking a catalog that had basically been dormant since 2003 and revitalizing it and working that catalog, redoing all the metadata and redelivering that, I had to be quite a chore.
I think that was a great early win for you, was it not?
[00:21:29] Speaker B: Oh, yes, for sure. First is start with one of the most important artists in the Brazilian music. And why not? If you really think about hip hop worldwide, probably Sabotage is one of the most important characters there.
He represents something really from the beginning and the lyrics that he creates, it's something that speaks with everybody.
So it's a really unique and legacy artist that that has been that for a long time. So it's a really creative work of remanaging catalog and working that step by step. So they have a really great management team that keeps the legacy alive and are always thinking. So it's like work with a label that's still running and have the artists because they are always pushing ideas and we are always helping them to make this happen. So we released some singles taking like remixes with talented artists for the new generation. So it's a way also to promote the artists for new people that probably have never heard about him. So we keep doing releases from Sabotage since then and more recently we have created a really project that was like our first symphonic originals from Brazil that was like the Sabotage demo tapes, the last tapes that was basically we worked with the production team that was working on his second album before the fact. So we take the demos together and they recreated as the way it's going to be released on the second album originally. So because those songs were released because he has the second album. It was a post mortgage album that was people a lot of friends and artists that worked with him put together collaborations to make this second album. That's a classic. But this new version, it was something like if he was not dead, that was the way that this song is going to sound originally. So there was like four classics from the second album that was created again on the most original version post blow. So this was a really nice and it was a really interesting work of keeping a catalog alive. It's always trying to have ideas and always trying to push this to a new public that will get in touch with and keep the catalog going on. So we are still growing the streams of sabotage so far doing that. So always keep the algorithm happy. That's the thing.
[00:24:45] Speaker A: Absolutely. That's the name of the game. Who are some other signings that you're especially proud know? I know Paulo Pierre's. I probably butchered the name.
But who else that you've signed without Ostracizing? Those that you don't have time to mention here. Do you want to brag about real quick?
[00:25:04] Speaker B: Yes, for sure. Trapo Dubrucio, that's the hip hop label from Ronaldino Gaucho, the legacy soccer player. He created a trap label that's been releasing through us. So it's been really great. Also Paulo Petis, it's a really unique situation. We have the top three, number three song in Brazil for like six weeks with him with a huge hit that's diamond single that was released in last year. Paulopiris is also a pizza genius pizzero artist. So we have half a moreera that's a legacy trap artist from Brazil. Like one of the pioneers that also has all his catalog and doing all his releases through us. That's so many great names. Crowk also that's a hip hop artist, really young, talented name that's releasing with us. Enidin Aldino. It's also a legacy artist from really OG that we have been able to help him with his catalog and build his digital presence from Zero.
And there is many names coming like really young artists that we are really seeing how fast they are blowing up. So it's been crazy.
Every month we discover a new great talent that's going to blow up soon.
[00:26:31] Speaker A: That's awesome.
So moving forward, looking to the future, we've got the artists we just named, everything else going on. What has you most excited? What are you looking most forward to with regards to the music industry and the growth of the Brazilian office that you're leading and the growth of the industry at large?
[00:26:54] Speaker B: Yeah, I think specifically after the pandemic now the entertainment industry is pushing hard and we have seen how the live music events came in so strong. I really don't know how many festivals has already happened in Brazil this year.
Every week there is a new festival going on. So it's really interesting to see that the live music is coming back really strong and of course this is good for the streaming because people go to shows, they're going to listen to more artists and it's good for everybody.
So what I think that's going to be in the next years, I think all the streaming platforms also the distribution companies will try to get more together in kind of live events and festivals. And I have seen recently Spotify got the sponsorship of the biggest hip hop festival in Brazil recently and they create like a backstage for the artists creating content. So it's really interesting to see this connection happening now and many young artists and independent artists coming and become huge in few years. I think we're going to be able to be more on the streets and build the brand of Symphonic really more in the real life now. So we are looking to create song camps that we're going to do the first one now in August. Also we are looking to sponsor some festivals and really become more connected with the artists where they are. We are also doing partnerships with studios, with producers. We're going to release now the first sample pack from Symphonic Brazil via Symphonic for Productions. So there is many things now we are really able to make the brand strong in the streets now.
[00:29:04] Speaker A: That's fantastic. Well, and you've certainly done a great job of brand building over the last two years.
I want to thank our guest today, Ian Bueno, head of Symphonic Brazil for joining us on the Music Industry 360 podcast. I thank you all for listening to this episode and be sure to listen to more because we have more great things coming to you this season. But signing off. I am Randall Foster, chief creative officer at Symphonic Distribution, and we're so glad you could join us today. Thank. Thank you and we'll see you on the next episode.