After nearly two decades of sluggish growth, the global music industry has finally begun to show some optimistic signs of a much-needed resurgence.
Among the recent positive developments, the Indian recorded music industry's revenues grew by as much 26 percent in 2016, securing the 19th rank worldwide in sales and outdoing the global industry's humble 5.9 percent.
Moreover, according to a FICCI-KPMG 2016 report, the size of India's music industry which stood at Rs 1,080 crore in 2015 is expected to grow to Rs 2,060 crore by 2020.
The way we consume music has changed and so have the industry's revenue models, as digital dominates the music consumption habits of consumers globally. Furthermore, India is emerging as a promising destination for music festivals and big-ticket live events which, thanks to the reach of social media, are finding audiences not only within India, but from across the globe.
The music industry is evolving, and nearly every rule has either been broken or reinvented in what we can call the music industry 2.0.
So, let's look at a few key trends curated by Dinesh B. Singh, Founder - Navrasa Duende that have emerged over the past couple of years and are driving the growth of this new-age music industry:
Digital music streaming
Cassettes and CDs are long gone, and although vinyl has made a rather surreptitious comeback, streaming is the preferred mode of music consumption worldwide. Thanks to a rapidly growing digital infrastructure in the country, affordable data, and cheaper smartphones, music streaming in India achieved a record volume of 50-60 million active monthly users in 2016.
This has, in turn, led to massive returns for artists and producers, as music sourced from music streaming apps now accounts for 55 percent of the total revenues generated by the music industry. Thus, with 300 million smartphone users so far and counting, this number is only expected to rise significantly over the next few years. The 16 to 35-year-old demographic set drives the greatest growth, as nearly 75 percent of digital music consumption in India by 2021 is expected from this segment alone; while 80 percent of music streaming is predicted to be done through smart multimedia devices.
Live events and music festivals
Multi-day music festivals are the growing rage among millennials who are the reason behind the big-ticket sponsorships that power these events across the world. According to Nielsen Music, a whopping 32 million people in the US attended at least one music festival in 2014, half of whom were millennials. Competitive pricing, growing line-up of top performers, rising popularity of diverse music genres, and powerful social media buzz have all contributed to the growth of the music festivals in India as well, with nearly 25 festivals held each year.
With music festivals going mainstream in India, event producers over the past two to three years have recorded millions in ticket sales and sponsorship revenues, ensuring the sustainability of these events in the future as well. While India has popular properties such as The Ziro Festival of Music, Sunburn, NH7 Weekender, and VH1 Supersonic which see a growing number of attendees each year, international festivals like Coachella, Tomorrowland, and Glastonbury Music Festival are among the biggest crowd-pullers attracting millions of visitors from all around the world.
Rising popularity of independent artists
As a direct consequence of the rising popularity of both music streaming and music festivals, there is an unprecedented surge in the number of independent artists across genres who are making the most of digital platforms and live events to find their audience. While Bollywood dominates music consumption in our country, the indie music scene in India is gradually maturing, and things are looking up for independent artistes. Music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music internationally, and Saavn in India are among the major forces behind this trend, providing independent artists with unique opportunities to showcase their talent and take their music to millions of listeners worldwide.
Advertisers reaching out to millennials
As advertisers look to reach out to young audiences in more immersive ways, they are increasingly cashing in on emerging trends such as music streaming and multi-day music festivals to make sure that their brand is present and visible where the millennials are. Digital advertising on music streaming platforms across the globe has seen a massive uptick over the past two to three years, while brands and advertisers are exploring unique ways to engage young audiences at music festivals and live shows. Merchandising or free giveaways, for instance, are among the most popular ways in which big-ticket sponsors promote their brands.
The popularity of recent properties like Sunburn and The Ziro Festival of Music has established India as a high-potential market for experimental and experiential music events. Hence, constant reinvention, rather than following a conventional blueprint, is what can help the music industry and live events space in the country grow. Moreover, proactive engagement can ensure massive returns, not only for big-ticket properties and brands, but also for the less mainstream performing arts and world music.
(with ANI inputs)