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Interviews |  05 Aug 2017 10:01 |  By Mallika Deb

All About Music is not about the moolah; it is about the keenness: Tarsame Mittal, TM Talent Management

MUMBAI: India's pioneering artist management agency, Tarsame Mittal Talent Management is set to host its first educative and interactive two-days music conference titled ‘All About Music’ on 18-19 September 2017 at Taj Lands End, Mumbai. This initiative aspires to create, build and sustain the opportunities between the various verticals and markets of the music industry, evaluate global business prospects and create a gateway for international markets as well as address the shortcomings and roadblocks within the rapidly evolving music business.

Radioandmusic spoke to the Founder of TM Management Tarsame Mittal on the elements that define the nature of brand association, strategies, current concerns, developing trends of the music industry and more.

As TM Management is hosting a music conference for the first time, explain the nature of brand association with the partners?

The brand association will be a strategic one, where every brand will leverage their core expertise in a very informal and informative manner. Every brand will lend to another brand, making the conference all-encompassing and not specific to a particular concept or genre.

How are you going to strategize the partnership/s?

Our partners will be those who have a profound understanding of the music business and respect the business from the word go. Each partner will require bringing unique value add to the table to be able to efficiently help those who register for the conference.  We wish to work with partners who believe music as a concept is universal and want to help spread the word.

How do you see this reaching globally? What are the major areas that need to be focused on? 

We are trying to rope in international speakers not just from the major countries but also from provincial Indian markets. Some of the areas we will be touching upon in the conference include revenue streams, talent management, copyright laws, live gigs, ticketing revenues, digital monetisation, independent music growth, streaming, the future of non-film music, etc. The conference is meant for avid music enthusiasts who are keen to interact with the forerunners of the business and gain first-hand technical knowledge. We have speakers from different walks of life and different regions who will cover different subjects. We have a mixed bag of inspiring stories and lessons from different cities of the world, thus making the conference an educative forum. 

What are the current music industry concerns?

The biggest shortcoming so to speak is that we are not a consolidated industry. While content is king, the consumer mindset still revolves around gratis consumption. The independent scene is not given an impetus as it should be

vis-a-vis commercial music. Talent is constantly unaware when it comes to copyrights and other governing laws because there is so much ambiguity prevalent in the system. Upcoming talent can’t find a foothold because there are not enough focused management agencies. Streaming services need to address the abysmally low royalty payouts per stream or the value gap. Our infrastructure and tax structure doesn’t give an impetus for large format IPs.  India has never come from an artist-driven culture. We always came from a song-driven culture due to Bollywood films and hence labels market prefer marketing their content through radio and television vis-a-vis digital.

How significant is innovation and experimentation in Indian music market?

Experimentation is the key to the success in any field. If you don’t innovate, you stagnate. You need to constantly learn and unlearn as every day holds a new opportunity and challenge. In the music business, you need to change with changing times and trends. There was a time when the digital business was fiercely contradicted but today streaming is the biggest trend prevalent. 

How challenging is it to stay updated with the market dynamics?

Today with the advent of technology there is hardly a challenge, honestly. There are podcasts and blogs and discussion boards and trade journals.  The infrastructure is improving very quickly and the user habits are evolving very quickly. Though there has to be a more navigable and easy to use interface between the artists and these services.

Shed some lights on the present scenario of Indian digital market? Also, how the digital boom is helping the music scene?

Mass adoption of streaming services is the biggest factor behind the global music industry’s upscale growth.  In India, the digital music industry is generating more than 70 per cent of the 12.2 billion INR music industry’s overall revenue. Home-grown streaming services like Saavn and Gaana are now joined by global players like Apple Music and Google Play Music making it approximately 60 million active users. As smartphone and internet penetration grows and data costs plunge, along with rising spends on entertainment by Indian youth, users will automatically increase. Digital boom gives you an unparalleled reach. In the short term, streaming services may not be a big revenue source for artists but in the long term, they are fantastic for getting your music to reach out to a larger fanbase and get new talent discovered by most labels are taking this route.  60 per cent of label income in India is coming from streaming.

How are you marketing this property?

At the inaugural year, we are focusing on organic PR and word of mouth publicity rather than an extensive marketing programme as we believe this conference is not about the moolah, it is about the keenness. This conference is by the music industry for the music industry. 

With representation from over 10 states, the forum will play host to over 500 delegates and over 50 speakers and experts. Through an intimate series of programs such as panel discussions, case studies, expert meet and greets, networking hub, the two-day conference curated by Tarsame Mittal Talent Management will act as a catalyst for collaboration, exploration and expansion of the indigenous music industry and will culminate in a music showcase featuring a leading artist.