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Music Inc 2019: How Digitization Made the Indian Music Industry More Democratic

Music Inc 2019: How Digitization Made the Indian Music Industry More Democratic

This is the second edition of Music Inc, which debuted last year, and started conversations addressing the need gap and the ways for the music industry to integrate with brands and technology.

Mumbai: The first day of Music Inc, a music conference organised by Loudest.in, saw many artists, music composers, sound designers and recordists, as well as CEOs of big music labels, come together to discuss the changing landscape of the Indian music industry after digitization.

The two-day event, which began on World Music Day (21 June 2019) at JW Marriott, Mumbai, had interesting panel discussions on how technology, data and design influenced Indian music, what kind of musical content millennials like to consume, how Indian music has a massive growth opportunity in the wedding market, and why brands are investing more in independent music. The conference, which is India's largest music business marketplace, served as a platform that brought together stakeholders from various avenues of the Indian music industry.

During the event, Neeraj Roy, Founder-CEO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, said that the Indian music market has a great potential to grow in the next five years and estimated that by 2024 the Indian music market is likely to be the top ten music markets in the world.

"Indians are already doing 21 hours per week of music consumption. It is one of the largest categories of content that is consumed, and we are in that sense ahead of the world," said Roy. "One of the most unique things about Indian music is that India doesn't listen to music, but it watches music. The first look of any movie is always a music-driven promo. So, we are beginning to discover music, not necessarily on the back of audio, but on videos." he added.

Pointing out growth opportunities, Roy explained that we should look into new avenues of expanding the music market apart from the traditional ways of advertising and subscription.

Jay Mehta, Director of Digital Business, Sony Music India pointed out that the Indian music industry is becoming more democratic, thanks to digitization. "In earlier days, an artist in order to reach out to the consumers had to rely on traditional media or labels," said Mehta. However, he added that now with online streaming channels like YouTube, 'the distance between artists and consumers has reduced' and irrespective of whether a singer is a well-known artist or a rookie, they have the same chances of reaching out to the audience, because they have access to the same channels.

Tarun Katial of Zee5 India added that initially, artists saw digital platforms as a way to gain visibility, while they earned money 'through on-ground activation' such as parties and events. However, now with subscriptions on the online streaming platforms, Katial said that the music industry needs to find a way 'to go behind the paywall' and make consumers seek value for the music so that they pay for it.

During the event, actor and film producer Jackky Bhagnani also spoke about his visions for his record label, JJust Music. Artists like Shubha Mudgal, Papon, Jasbir Jassi also participated in various panel discussions. This is the second edition of Music Inc, which debuted last year, and started conversations addressing the need gap and the ways for the music industry to integrate with brands and technology. Last year, the two-day event saw a footfall of over 80 speakers, 35 panels, numerous artists, brands and over 500 delegates.

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