Add up the revenues from digital, broadcast, concerts and filmed entertainment, the Indian music business generated Rs 12,000 crore in 2022. That is about 6 per cent of the Rs 2.1 trillion media and entertainment business. Of the top 10 songs on YouTube globally, seven were Indian.
Sunidhi Chauhan’s foot tapper Saami Saami tops the list.
It was heard 1.55 billion times. Indravathi Chauhan’s O Antava is a close second with 1.52 billion streams.
Publishing revenues – that is the money paid to authors, lyricist, composers – the people who actually make the music went up by 2.5 times. Their two biggest sources of revenue were creating music for films/music labels and live performances, including disco jockeying or D’Jing.
The report says more than 40,000 music creators make anywhere from 20,000-25000 songs every year. This excludes remixes and music from the unorganised sector.
“The music segment’s sound recording revenues have been driven by both local and international labels for a long time. However, music publishing revenues remain much smaller, given the differing views on its applicability, litigation and low awareness,” says Ashish Pherwani, partner, Media and Entertainment, EY India.
India has a somewhat unique structure given that 70-80 per cent of the music is made for films and also in the applicability of copyright law. In the West, if Bob Dylan recorded a track for Universal, that track was owned by Universal. But the publishing rights, the lyrics, were owned by Dylan. In India, music companies like Saregama or T-Series own all rights. The whole centralisation of rights means there is no distinction between a film and its parts; no distribution in asset classes.
While a recording can only be used as it is, publishing rights are more flexible – you could have another singer croon the same song, set it to a different tune, perform it live, the possibilities are endless. This allows creators to trade on their catalogues, to get royalties from different sources. This did not happen in India till the Copyright Act of 1957 was changed in 2012.
Even now, litigation has meant awareness and implementation remain issues. The report illustrates the changes and how they have helped individual creators.
The survey throws up some interesting insights. For example, 87 per cent of respondents would have liked to make a living off their music alone, but only 60 per cent are able to do so. A majority of the creators strongly believed that they needed to learn more about music production and monetisation and only half had access to the equipment and infrastructure needed to produce music.
First Published: Jan 05 2024 | 11:14 PM IST