Mumbai: The Indian Music industry has shown consistent growth over the last 3 years and has embraced the digital era. More importantly, the industry is finally out of the shadows of Bollywood/Film music. The non-film / regional music sector has created a pop music industry that reflects the real India. Artists are being discovered from the remotest corners of India and their music is being consumed through multiple touchpoints. The business is set to skyrocket with the growth and proliferation of digital streaming services, devices, and internet mobile platforms. How can the business of music transcend to the next level to keep up with a constantly changing ecosystem?
Day three of E-Ficci Frames saw a panel moderated by Sanjay Tandon, CEO – Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA) with prominent personalities as panelists such as singer Sonu Nigam, Singer and Composer, Shankar Mahadevan, Prasoon Joshi, Indian lyricist, screenwriter, poet and marketer and CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman APAC (Asia Pacific), Sabbas Joseph, Co-Founder and Director of Wizcraft International Entertainment and Madhura Sreedhar Reddy, Software engineer turned director, producer and distributor.
Setting the context Sanjay Tandon opened the panel with the question that is the Indian Music Industry an artist first economy?
The Top Boss at Wizcraft International, Sabbas Joseph said, “Yes it is an artist first economy, there is exception to that, I would not say an artist but I would say the creators economy. The people who create have become the true masters of what they do and what they can monetize. The beauty is thanks to technology, we all have got democratize the opportunity from creator to consumer has just become natural dribbling and I won’t call the many men but every other service that was required earlier has become almost relevant.”
“But having said that, everyone can’t be the marketer, everyone can’t be what the music company does everyone can’t be with the event managers does and so, hence, once you might have the opportunity to reach out to the consumer first and straight away you would require all the others working with you in unison, as an ecosystem. The more you work with your ecosystem, the more successful you are and that is the reality.”
“My entire submission on the artist first economy is creators and artists need to be conscious that they inquire to work in an ecosystem, so once they look at creating value for themselves which is their first right and you right, they must look at leaving enough value for others are allowing others to create value, alongside so that it is a shared economy, an economy where everyone survives, and everyone prospers.” said Sabbas Jospeh.
Being a marketer together and an artist, Prasoon Joshi said, “I am an artist first and since I think I write poetry to express myself.And then there is the world where when you are writing poetry yourself and writing songs and then you encounter the real world and sometimes rather than being in something which should probably and naturally include you and you feel that this our struggle to get into that ecosystem and that is the struggle of artists. Now what has happened is that you have seen the direct connection between the artist and the people, that’s the rise as an artist to reach out to the people.”
“Eventually deep down you create to resonate with and you want to share, there is something inside of you which you want to show to the word. I feel, probably there are some beautiful great musicians we have never heard, the greatest points we have never heard the greatest illusion we have never heard and maybe they are so self-evolved and satisfied with what they do and even the spiritual desire to share also doesn’t exist.” said Prasoon Joshi.
Expressing his thoughts on whether it is an artist first economy to which Sonu Nigam said, “I like to keep the straight so there is no artist first economy right now, I am here in Dubai and I am not getting any money sitting at home and we have to dig our own well for water. If I don’t perform I don’t get it, Shankar and Prasoon might be getting it but in my case I am not.”
“If I don’t perform in the next one year all my money is going to go and only giving rents and paying my people, so there isn’t any artist first economy and Bollywood is still very prominent in the music industry today and I agree to it by 99%.” said Sonu Nigam.
Speaking about how recognition plays an important role Shankar Mahadevan said, “I would like to divide my word discussion into two, one is something which is very prominent in our country, and which consumes a lot of energy of the music industry and the perception created by the people is the Bollywood industry. I would say, unfortunately, what is happening in our industry is it’s always been the case that, the singer, artist, composer has always not got the deserved kind of recognition that he or she is supposed to get because in front of him there is an hero standing.”
“It’s a very unique country that someone is singing and someone else is getting the recognition and as far as the Bollywood industry is concerned and so you are dependent on various aspects over there, but I would say in the last four or five years there has been a slight change that’s happening where the artist is directly connected to his fans. There are, amazing opportunities available for him or her, and I know of people who are making a living out of not depending on Bollywood they have got their own little world their own YouTube channels where people directly connect with the artists as you are listening to him or her and they are monetizing it also.” said Shankar Mahadevan.
Sharing his insights on the same Madhura Sreedhar Reddy said, “I seriously like the word called creator and we are slowly moving towards the creator sector that is for sure, before that most of our music is filmy based music, but for the past four to five years we are right now moving towards independent music. Our independent music revenues are around 10 to 15 percent out of all in all in revenue speaking.”
“It is 8% from filmy music and 15% from independent music around five years back, the independent music revenue share was 2%. So, I have now I fully agree with Sabbas, that we are moving towards the creative sector and that is a good sign actually, because previously music labels role was just going to a producer and being a filmmaker I know how it works. You know, but now it is completely moving towards the independent music shortly.” Said Madhura Sreedhar Reddy.