RnM Team    18 Feb 13 18:33 IST

MUMBAI: Amidst reports that digital is the future of music industry, the dark truth is that the south Indian music industry is struggling at different aspects to enable sustainability in the long run. With streaming services holding a bigger stake than downloads, garnering revenues has emerged as a hurdle along with constant battle with digital piracy.

Even as physical piracy has comparatively reduced in the south Indian music industry, it has been taken over by digital piracy with a maximum share being attributed to the growing consumption on mobile resulting in mobile chip piracy.

Speaking with Radioandmusic.com, South Indian Music Companies Association (SIMCA) joint secretary Rajesh Dhupad, “If the size of the Indian Music Industry is Rs 575 crores (as reported by Radioandmusic.com earlier), then I would peg the south Indian music industry between Rs 200-300 crores. However if you include the pirated market, it would be much more because the total piracy industry on the internet is around 95 per cent.”

While overall in India, piracy contributes 75 per cent of the music industry, it is a huge figure in Tamil Nadu followed by the markets in Kerala.

Dhupad states that physical piracy has reduced and comprises of only around 30 per cent of the industry, but it is not having a positive impact as the piracy on digital and mobile platforms has steadily increased and now comprises of around 70 per cent of the industry.

“The industry is omnipresent everywhere and today music is primarily consumed on mobile which comprises of 70-80 per cent of all music heard today. While the physical piracy has decreased, the overall piracy in the market has increased due to mobile,” he added.

Today, there are three main methods of getting content, namely legitimate downloads through CDs, pirated downloads from the internet and the third, which is the majority, is from mobile chips. Every time a consumer buys a new phone, the seller offers a memory card with a pack of songs for a sum of around Rs 200. While this encourages piracy, the music industry earns nothing from it.

Aiming to curb this form of piracy, SIMCA in association with South Indian Digital Music Management (SIDMM) enabled licensing of music on the mobile platform through Cell Muzik. The organisation provided licenses to the shopkeepers on a yearly basis and then collected revenues from them.

Apart from that, they also conducted several raids

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