Music industry unable to change tracks, as revenue stays dormant

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The covid-19 pandemic majorly reorganized and restructured various spheres of activity.

The music industry in India is also facing issues as it was unable to procure considerable profits. IMI (Indian Music Industry) reported that India’s music industry had acquired revenue of only ₹1500 crore for the third consecutive year.

Bollywood is the predominant cash cow for Indian music, followed by other regional cinema. But the fewer number of movies released in the last two years due to the pandemic has resulted in the downfall of net profit.

According to the latest reports, the industry loses between ₹2,016 crores and ₹2,791 crores annually due to antiquated laws that complicate the collection of adequate compensation from popular media like television, radio, and video apps.

70% of recorded music is film-based in India. Only 30% accounts for independent, classical, or other regional categories. Demand for independent and non-film-based music, as reported by a Spotify spokesperson, has been on the rise owing to the pandemic and infrequent movie releases.

However, Bollywood still dominates a large part of the highest streamed categories.Interestingly India has also seen increased streaming in k-pop music.

Three of the top 10 albums streamed in India belong to the South Korean boy band BTS. Hindi, followed by Punjabi, are the most popular languages. Following data from JioSaavn, Telugu, Punjabi, Tamil, Bhojpuri, and Kannada were the most streamed regional languages as of October 2021.

The advent of various challenges and trends in social media has also increased the popularity of different music. Tiktok and Instagram reels have hugely influenced the popularity of many genres.

The escalation of interest in desi-indie music also illustrates the delicate nature of a language barrier in the case of indie music.

Sandeep Lodha, the CEO of Gaana, states that people have started to enjoy songs that would have otherwise not caught their attention. The mix of different languages within one particular piece of music also aids the easy adaptation of new styles.

Some of the significant issues that plague the industry are piracy and lax laws that govern them. According to experts, over 90% of music listeners enjoy music for free without any subscriptions. It results in many detrimental effects on revenue collection.

Recently people have started relying on platforms such as Spotify, Gaana, and JioSaavn, instilling confidence in platform owners providing hope for better revenue. 

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