RadioandMusic
| 25 Oct 2020
Neeraj Kalyan: "2012 was a mixed bag of opportunities and setbacks for the music industry"

T-Series president Neeraj Kalyan:

The year gone by was actually a mixed bag for the Indian music industry. While it witnessed the seeding of the internet revenue growth curve, it also brought in draconian curbs in the form of TRAI guidelines which hampered the marketability of the Music VAS content. Although music industry was battling the plummeting revenues due internet piracy, declining radio royalties and CD sales, without much success though, but the final nail in the coffin was arbitrary amendments to the Copyright Act. I have expressed enough of my thoughts on Copyright Act amendments in the recent past and thus for the purpose of brevity I'd avoid it this time.

I must congratulate the content industry that despite so many odds it maintained a brave front and is looking ahead to the future, which certainly lies in the digital domain. With the digital and online consumption steadily increasing in the country through mobile handsets and more, the total number of internet users in India is set to reach 165 million by March 2015, but considering its population base, Internet penetration is still at a nascent stage in India and thus there is huge potential and a lot of possibilities for the digital business that will see more traction in the years to come.

2012 was about setting the right foundation in terms of content digitization and meta tags, getting the right people on board, and putting the distribution pipes in place for seamless delivery in the future. Moving ahead from laying the foundation for the future, some of the stuff we'll be most excited about in 2013 would be what you can do once you have everything connected, every license in place: solve the problem of discovery, micro payments and what people are going to be listening to next, and making sure that they can get that social signal in a way that is meaningful, exciting, and engaging. Integration of Social Media (FB, Twitter) and Video Search platforms (Youtube, Daily Motion etc) with download recommendations is going to play a pivotal role in nurturing the paid eco-system in the near future and 2012 was a perfect take off point for this metamorphosis.

Video search platforms played a vital role and kept the industry excited throughout the year, social media engagements saw a new high with big banners spending sizeable promotion budgets online. The industry finally acknowledged the power of Internet and digital medium as a promotion and consumer engagement tool.

T-Series official Channel on YouTube became the biggest Indian content engagement point with more than 800 K subscribers in the shortest span and was really a big achievement for our team. T-Series is one of the top channels for YouTube not just in India but across Asia and thanks again to the team efforts, we were recently awarded the YouTube Partner award for being the most subscribed channel in India and very soon will cross the coveted 1 million subscriber mark towards the end of March 2013.

RBT subscriptions and streaming services remained the master of the digital economy but downloads  revenues are clearly important pieces of the revenue pie going forward. Proliferation of legitimate internet  platforms like i-tunes, Hungama.com, flipkart, tseries.com etc. which started  offering licensed content for downloads to the consumers are playing an important role in seeding the paid music eco-system.  Other music streaming services namely dhingana, in.com, saavn, gaana etc, although licensed by the music industry, are offering free legitimate music to the consumers but are solely dependent on ad supported revenue models, however, in order to sustain  revenue growth in the streaming vertical, industry will eventually have to shift towards a subscription based paid eco-system in a planned and sustained manner.

I have always believed that entire entertainment space in South Asia revolves only around ABCD {Astrology, Bollywood, Cricket & Devotional (spiritual) content}. In music space in 2012, Bollywood Content continued to lead the pack with 60 per cent contribution to the market pie followed by Devotional Content and 2013 is not going to be any different. 2012 witnessed some really good music like Cocktail, Jism2, Talaash, Son of Sardar, Raaz 3 and offcourse year end blockbuster Dabangg 2, the year 2013 will be equally exciting with maximum number of A+ titles coming out on T-Series Label.