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New music revenues in India, from sync to digital merch

On the first day of the All About Music conference in Mumbai, IMI boss Blaise Fernandes cited an “underexploited” public performance market as one of the drivers of growth that will help steer India in its quest to become one of the world’s top ten biggest music markets by 2022.

On the second day, at a panel on ‘Revenue Beyond Live’, Rajat Kakar, the managing director and CEO of PPL India, expanded on Fernandes’ statement on the untapped potential for increasing public performance revenue.

At about Rs100 crore in 2018, it was already “the second largest income stream for the recorded music industry” in India, said Kakar. That figure represented a 24 per cent year-on-year jump, “the highest in the world”, and it’s only set to grow.

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Indian music industry debates potential for paid music subs

“I think we’re on course,” said Blaise Fernandes, the president and CEO of India’s official recorded music industry body the Indian Music Industry, when asked on a status update on the country’s plan to break into the top ten of the world’s biggest music markets by 2022, at this year’s edition of the annual All About Music conference on Tuesday.

“For us to get to the top ten, we’ve got to double our revenues, we’re at $150 million, we’ve got to get to $300 million,” Fernandes told moderator, Outdustry’s Ed Peto at a panel entitled ‘Musicnomics: Making Sense Of Money In The Music Business’.

Among the drivers that Fernandes said would help India in reaching its destination, is an “underexploited” public performance market; the estimated 830 million smartphone users the country is expected to have by 2020; and a “$2.5 billion digital advertising market” owing to which “you’re going to see a lot sync opportunities”.

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How Gaana became India’s top audio-streaming music service

There has been some debate over the title of India’s top music audio-streaming service, with multiple companies staking their claim.

Most recently, in December 2018, Gaana said that it now had 80 million monthly active users (MAUs), which would make it the country’s top service “with a fair margin” according to CEO Prashan Agarwal.

So far, none of its competitors have challenged that status with a higher figure, although mobile operator Reliance Jio says that its JioSaavn product – the recently-combined JioMusic and Saavn services – is “south Asia’s largest streaming, artist and entertainment platform”. The telco has yet to reveal a MAUs figure for the merged service.

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The rise of Indian hip-hop: ‘There’s going to be a huge opportunity…’

From labels to streaming services to brands, they’re all saying the same things: hip-hop is the hottest independent music genre in India in 2018, and it’s only going to get bigger.

Hip-hop is the fastest-growing genre for streaming service Saavn. Major label Sony Music and indie label Azadi Records are each negotiating deals with more than half a dozen new hip-hop artists. Beer brand Bira 91 wants to double the number of hip-hop gigs it stages annually to 50.

And on Valentine’s Day 2019, Bollywood film Gully Boy, which is inspired by the lives of Mumbai Rappers Divine (aka Vivian Fernandes) and Naezy (aka Naved Shaikh) will open in cinemas around the globe.