IMI’s Vision 2025 taps into digital India

The Indian Music Industry (IMI) has released their latest report, ‘Vision 2025: The Show Must Continue’. The annual report forecasts the future of the Indian Music Industry while recapping what went down in the year that’s gone by.

Talking diversity

This year’s report unlike its predecessor, focused on the diversity of regional music bringing to the spotlight, IMI Chairman Vikram Mehra’s keynote address at the 2021 All About Music conference. “I believe that the music industry which currently is between INR 1,300-1,500 crore should become a 10,000-crore industry in the next three to five years,” said Mehra in the report. “We should be seeing a very rapid growth coming in, not the growth that was moving at 12-15%. I think if we make the right move, we can actually hope to make this industry a 10,000-crore industry.”

Recorded music rehaul

President and CEO, Blaise Fernandes’ foreword though took on the short form video domain. Citing the growth that burgeoned after Tik Tok’s ban in India, Fernandes added, “Given that TikTok is currently valued at $50 billion (INR 3.75 lakh crore) and the Chinese entity Kuaishou Technology received a valuation of $60.9 billion (INR 4.56 lakh crore), the valuations party has just begun.”

However, his foreword took on a cautionary tone when it comes to quantifying the revenue lost by way of royalties: 200 crore annually. This is due to the protection accorded by Section 79 of the IT Act. “Big Tech also takes cover under the same section – even while the estimated or declared revenues of FB and Alphabet in India were INR 1,277 crore and INR 5,593 crore respectively in FY20. The pay-outs to record labels by the Big Tech are not commensurate with the huge revenues earned by them through copyrighted music causing an estimated loss of INR 739 crore annually.” Without immediate attention, the recorded music ecosystem will continue to haemorrhage. This will have a massive impact on the livelihoods of an estimated 53 million households.

Investing in India

The IMI report also made sure to include IFPI CEO, Frances Moore’s thoughts on Investment Opportunities in India which were delivered at the recently concluded CII Big Picture Summit 2020. “India has jumped from the 20th largest music market in the world, to the 15th largest, with revenue growth of 49% that was driven by streaming. I believe in the next 5 years, with the right conditions of course, India has the potential to become a top 10 global music market,” she said. In order to bridge the gap, however, Moore believes certain hurdles need to be overcome. Issues like building investor confidence, creating a fair marketplace, fair value for all music use, copyright infringement, etc, needs to be addressed.

‘Vision 2025’ also drew from the IMI’s other paper, ‘A Case for Free Market Economics in the Indian Recorded Music Industry’ that highlighted the industry’s ups and downs, including way forward. The Indian music industry has clocked in a revenue of INR 1,500 crore for the third year in a row. “Since 70% of recorded music in India is film-based, the growth of the film industry should have led to the growth of the recorded music industry. However, despite this symbiotic relationship, today the film industry is valued at INR 19,100 crore, while the music industry is valued at a mere INR 1,500 crore.”  The paper also broke down music consumption according to genre and region: 70% of recorded music in India is film-based; the other 30% is largely classical, devotional, folk and independent. In India’s southern and eastern states, about 90% of the local music is film based.

What’s more

A case study on South Korea’s success story with music, film and television was put forward as a roadmap to incorporate long-term support from the government. Additionally, big bands and individual artistes put forth their thoughts on the industry and the way forward. A special highlight is a photo essay on Indian artists going global with billboards in international markets. Last but not least, the report harks back to an important session at the All About Music conference to chronicle the rise of international music among Indian listeners.

Check out the full report here

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