AirAsia ventures into music industry

With the launch of RedRecords, its non-airline biz is expected to contribute 60% to total group revenue over next 5 years

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

AIRASIA Group Bhd’s non-airline business is expected to contribute 60% to total group revenue over the next five years, from around 20% currently.

The low-cost carrier (LCC) is expanding its portfolio with a venture into the music industry via the launch of its record label, RedRecords, with Universal Music Group (UMG).

The record label will focus on signing, developing and introducing new Asian artistes and elevating Asian-pop (A-pop) globally to new audiences, AirAsia group CEO Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes said.

“We are heading back to our musical roots to revolutionise the future of Asian pop culture and give it the worldwide stage it deserves.

“As we celebrate 18 years of operation for AirAsia, we are focused on transforming the airline into a global digital travel and lifestyle leader,” he told reporters after launching RedRecords in Kuala Lumpur (KL) last week.

Fresh off the heels from opening its first flagship restaurant, Santan, the group plans to diversify its non-airline business and embark on projects to strengthen its position as a lifestyle brand.

The LCC’s non-airline businesses include a loyalty programme, financial services such as BigPay, and logistics.

RedRecords, which will be based in KL and Los Angeles in the US, will combine UMG’s track record in artist development with AirAsia’s regional and global marketing strength to expand A-pop’s reach beyond national borders.

In addition to artist development, the label will provide distribution and marketing, as well as management and agency services.

The label will be led by Hassan Choudhury, AirAsia Group’s head of music, who also announced the signing of Thai pop-artist and influencer Jannine Weigel, as its marquee first artist at the launching ceremony.

Leveraging on the combined strategic marketing reach and resources of AirAsia and UMG, the partnership can provide Asian artistes with the opportunity to truly go global, UMG chairman and CEO Sir Lucian Grainge said in a video message.

“The worldwide success of Latin and K-Pop has demonstrated that in the streaming era, there are no barriers to great music regardless of language,” he said.

Earlier this year, UMG announced a strategic expansion of operations within the region with the launch of a new regional headquarters in Singapore.