MBW’s World Leaders is a regular series focusing on some of the most influential industry figures outside the US and UK markets. In this capacity, we speak with Cris Falcão, CEO of Ingrooves Music Group in Brazil. World Leaders are supported by PPL.
Brazil’s record store is booming. The country experienced its sixth consecutive year of recorded music revenue growth in 2021, according to Pro-Musica Brasil, reaching BRL 2.111 billion (approximately $ 391 million), an increase of 32% year-on-year.
Brazil, the world’s 11th largest music market in 2021 (behind Italy as No. 10), was according to IFPI data also last year’s largest market in the Latin America region, which itself experienced its twelfth year in a row with growth in 2021 with revenues an increase of 31.2% year / year.
The growth of the recorded music sector in Brazil was largely driven by streaming, which accounted for 85.6% of the market in 2021.
In particular, of the 200 best streaming tracks in Brazil in 2021, 61 or 30.5% came from artists classified as an “independent artist”.
Cris Falcão, CEO of the music distribution and marketing company Ingrooves Music Group in Brazil, tells MBW that she “predicts[s] real growth ”for Brazil’s independent artist market in the coming years.
“The independent industry is becoming more and more structured and formalized,” says Falcão.
“As a result, artists, agents and managers are better placed to manage their content and careers. And key players are active in the sector, which guarantees better results for the entire indie industry. ”
Sao Paolo-based Falcão was named MD for Universal Music Group-owned Ingrooves Brazil in January 2020, as the company expanded into the market and signed an agreement with the prominent Brazilian funk label, GR6. Ingrooves now works with 89 independent label partners in the market.
Falcão joined Ingrooves after more than 15 years in Brazil’s independent music industry, where she started her career in music publishing at Fermata do Brasil and later founded indie label and publisher, Cada Instante.
Here, Cris Falcão tells us about her career in the music industry, challenges and opportunities in the Brazilian market, her goals for 2022, and what she would change about the music industry and why.
Could we start at the beginning of your music career, how did you first get into the music business?
I started my career in the financial arena, specifically in the automotive industry and later in the finance field in a major consulting firm. My journey in the music business began in 2004 when I joined one of Brazil’s largest independent music publishers, Fermata do Brasil.
I ran the company for almost 15 years, navigating all the changes that stem from the industry’s transition from a physical to a digital market. My experience there enabled me to become an expert in copyright management.
“As an entrepreneur in the Brazilian music industry, I also felt it was important to help educate people about the industry.”
In 2018, I founded Cada Instante, a label, publisher and accelerator for artists designed to strengthen the independent music scene. In 2019, I became head of Brazil’s branch of the international NGO Women in Music, where I worked to expand the role of women in the Brazilian music market through workshops, partnerships with brands, festivals and conferences across the country.
As an entrepreneur in the Brazilian music industry, I also felt that it was important to help educate people about the industry. There was very little access to information or the opportunity to really learn about the music industry.
To this day, I continue to teach music business and copyright courses, and dedicate part of my time to mentoring non-profit projects and organizations to develop artists and music entrepreneurs.
How was the music industry in Brazil at the time?
Twenty years ago, the market was basically physical, as Brazil was late in the digital market. We still brought downloads to Brazil. It was a long process to go from physical to digital with some resistance from the industry.
“Streaming was a major milestone for Brazil.”
Streaming was a major milestone for Brazil. Streaming helped us become more democratic and enabled Brazilian artists to reach out to everyone. Even in a bad economy, we are seeing the growth of subscriptions that could lead us to a better level of revenue in the future.
You were named CEO of Ingrooves Brazil in 2020 and were given the task of leading the company’s expansion in the market – could you tell us about some of the highlights from the last few years?
We started a few weeks before the world pandemic and signed on to the biggest Brazilian funk label, GR6. Culturally, business in Brazil is based on face-to-face interaction, so being locked down without the opportunity to meet people in person posed an unexpected set of challenges.
We had to be creative and methodical in our approach and strategies when we launched and built our business during this time. Since its launch in 2020, we are extremely proud to work with 89 labels across all the different genres in Brazil.
Over the past year, some of our key projects have included Anavitória, which brought home two Latin GRAMMYs and reached number 2 on Spotify’s global charts. Last year, Ingroove’s top song on TikTok was included Bipolar (Mc Davi, MC Pedrinho & MC Don Juan) running over 4 billion views on the platform. And Ingrooves had two songs on Spotify’s Top 2021 songs – Bipolar and Freedom (DJ Alok, MC Don Jan, DJ GBR). We also work with the legends Gilberto Gil (GEGE Produções) and Milton Nascimento (Nascimento Música).
They chose us to help bring their historical catalogs to new audiences around the world.
What sets Ingrooves apart from other players in the Brazilian market?
We work with independent labels and artists to expand their audiences and businesses more effectively, while maintaining their independence and maintaining complete control over their art.
“We have an internal team of Ph.D. scientists, statisticians and mathematicians working on innovative marketing methods to help labels and artists increase audience, engagement and streams. “
Our integrated global music team collaborates on commercial and marketing strategy, while delivering a comprehensive suite of services, action-oriented data-driven insights and patented marketing solutions.
We have an internal team of Ph.D. scientists, statisticians and mathematicians working on innovative marketing methods to help labels and artists increase audience, engagement and streams.
Ingrooves’ groundbreaking marketing inventions have already been granted two U.S. patents with another on the way. We enable labels to solve global challenges in the music industry and find solutions through a mix of technology, insights and highly trained music experts.
What are your goals for Ingrooves in 2022?
We want to expand our presence and grow our brand in Brazil so that the music community understands how Ingrooves Brazil fits into the larger overall global operation and depth of services we offer.
“We look forward to nurturing and investing in the landscape of the independent record company here in Brazil. It is also always our goal to help expand our local Brazilian artists to new territories.”
We look forward to nurturing and investing in the landscape of the independent record company here in Brazil. It is also always our goal to help expand our local Brazilian artists to new territories.
Ingrooves has aggressively expanded our global footprint and is able to help Brazilian artists penetrate new markets and seize opportunities wherever they are in the world.
What do you think are the biggest challenges for the music industry in general in Brazil and globally?
The global pandemic has really affected us in areas outside of streaming that have affected the income distribution and migration of artists to non-music careers.
There are cases where you will see producers and artists who do not have the resources or abilities after the circumstances of life have forbidden them to work with music.
“One of the biggest challenges in the overall global music industry is getting your music heard and building audiences with so many songs that can be streamed every day.”
Instead, they have had to migrate into other sectors to survive. In Brazil, too, we still face challenges in terms of gender and age inclusion and declining cultural investment. One of the biggest challenges in the overall global music industry is getting your music heard and building audiences with so many songs available to stream every day.
What would you change about the music industry and why?
I would love to see more women brought into the boardroom. We have come a long way, but still have a lot of work to do as an industry to bring more female and LGBTQIA + leaders into the arts and business sectors.
Giving women the opportunity to become leaders in the music industry is very important to me. The Ingrooves Brazil team is 100% women.
What advice would you give to a young leader starting in the music business today?
Believe in yourself, be self-initiated, be persistent, engage, keep your values, follow your dreams and break the mold.
World Leaders is supported by PPL, a leading international collector of neighboring rights, with best-in-class operations that help artists and rights holders of recordings around the world maximize their royalties. PPL was founded in 1934 and raises money from all over Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North and South America. It has raised over £ 500 million internationally for its members since 2006.Music business worldwide