Facebook and Instagram, too, have become popular hangouts amongst youth for sharing their music and playlists, and engage with their favourite artistes.
By Punit Pandey
People across the world bond over two things — food and music. This is also true of Indians. We are passionate about our music and have a song for almost every occasion.
On average, an Indian spends close to three hours daily or 21.5 hours every week listening to music, as against the global average of 17.8 hours per week. Listening to the latest Bollywood songs ranks as the first preference amongst music listeners.
The digital revolution across India has provided consumers platforms other than radio and television. Music streaming platforms like YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, JioSaavn, Gaana, Hungama and Wynk, among others, are transforming the way we listen and relate to music.
Rapid growth in internet penetration, coupled with decreasing data costs and an increase in the availability of digital content, has given consumers the opportunity to access music of their choice at their fingertips. As per a Deloitte report, as of December, 2018, there were around 150 million music streaming users in India, and the number is growing at a fast pace. The emergence of AI technology and a seamless experience across platforms have created a great ecosystem for streaming players to drive music consumption across digital platforms.
The AI algorithm and technology used by digital platforms to create personalised playlists enhances the music listening experience. Voice-enabled virtual assistants and wearable devices are gaining popularity amongst the youth. Apple Music, for instance, is available across Amazon Echo, Alexa devices as well as on Android devices, making the experience delightful.
Music listening is a social activity and social media platforms amplify the engagement between fans and artistes. JioSaavn lets users discover and share music on Snapchat. Facebook and Instagram, too, have become popular hangouts amongst youth for sharing their music and playlists, and engage with their favourite artistes. Meanwhile, Chinese short video app TikTok has been successful in India by attracting over 200 million users since its launch in September 2018. A majority of the content on TikTok uploaded by Indians is based on Bollywood songs.
The question of TV
The rapid growth of music streaming apps in the digital world will further get catapulted with the advent of 5G technology. This leads to the obvious question: will music television channels survive? Our understanding is that music consumption on TV will grow, further expanding the genre, like it has been growing year on year.
Music consumption is ruled by convenience and an interactive experience. Studies reveal that television as a medium is growing fairly well in the midst of upward digital growth. The key is to keep the consumer hooked by enabling them with well-curated, engaging content in a convenient environment. We believe that despite rapid growth in digital consumption, television will continue to be the preferred destination for entertainment and music. As television feeds into viewers’ audio, video and emotional needs, there would not be an either/or situation between TV and digital platforms. Also, the TRAI tariff regime and the FTA music channels are other contributing factors resulting in higher TV viewing in India.
As per BARC India data, the average weekly impressions of total TV has increased by 6% in the period January 2019 to mid-May 2019, over the same period in 2018. The music genre depicted a growth of 21% over the same period last year. These numbers prove that the future of music television is sound.
Ultimately, the consumer discovers great music on the music streaming platforms, whereas television is the medium on which they watch music curated for them.
The author is chief business officer, 9X Media