Tunes that spike profits

Written by Sagorika Dasgupta | Updated: Mar 31 2008, 04:44am hrs
Have you ever had a eargasm asks Ralph Simon, chairman, Mobicon, UK, at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Frames 2008 in Mumbai recently. Probe him further and he mentions that the only way an artist from the music industry can create a sensation is by delivering innovative tunes packaged well. Good music creates a eargasm. Well-crafted songs with meaningful lyrics always sell. It should give the listeners a pleasurable experience. In India, music is a by product of the film industry, adds Simon.

The Indian entertainment industry is huge and the music industry, in turn, definitely benefits from it. Estimated to touch Rs 1,15,700 crore by 2012 with a compounded annual growth rate of 18% between 2008-12 according to the latest report by FICCI and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Indian entertainment industry is going to give a fillip to music too.

Indian music forms the contextual backdrop of films, as most of them are musicals and music forms 40% of the market share of films. Around 90% of the mobile value added services (VAS) are obtained through film ringtones and songs and 80% of the FM songs comprise Hindi film music. Most musicians, thus, have to attach themselves to Bollywood to make a mark in the country.

Almost 50% of the music sales are expected to go digital by the year 2012. Most music companies feel that music is now being heard while people are on the move through iPods, radio, MP3 players and other such gadgets. Kulmeet Makkar, chief executive officer, BIG Music and Home entertainment says: It is an age of music sachets. Around 71% of the Indian youth are passionate about music. Consuming music is still huge but the methods of music consumption are also changing rapidly. With the digitisation of films and music, there has been a surge in the quality of the content. But is technology also becoming a bane for music companies Makkar explains, Due to a proliferating internet penetration in 30 million homes and an increasing mobile market, physical music sales have gone down drastically. The youth are discovering and accessing music through free internet sites. There is a shift from music ownership to music consumption. However, all revenue streams of music are on a growth trajectory since it benefits a lot due to its association with films.

Internet sites offer downloads for free and thus music retailing has changed. With a shorter shelf life and easy access to music, piracy is haunting the industry as well. Vijay Lazarus, president, Indian Music Industry says: As technology is everywhere and is getting enhanced, music piracy is also increasing. Piracy is a violation of law and though we have enough methods to litigate piracy issues, we have no software to curb it completely. Software can only trace the point of piracy and the time, but it cannot put a stop to this process. Lazarus suggests that it is important that music companies should come together in the process of apprehending the pirates.