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Music piracy still continues to worry stakeholders

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MUMBAI: The 6th edition of MixRadio Music Connects (MRMC) commenced on a high note today, emerging as one of the most informative and definitive annual music ecosystem gatherings. Held at the Taj Land’s End Hotel in Bandra, the proceedings of the first day were focused on the Indian music scene and its global development as an industry along with a vast understanding of new emerging platforms for aspiring entrants. The conference was attended by top executives, creative professionals, musicians, decision-makers and company heads who contributed interesting insights about the music industry.

The focus of this year’s event is to find ideas and solutions to increase monetisation and build traction for all those involved in the music business, with a special emphasis on the artiste community. Indiantelevision.com founder, CEO and editor in chief Anil Wanvari welcomed everyone to the conference and said, “We hope to establish new grounds in the music industry and share knowledge about the entire ecosystem."

Branded co-founder and CEO of and Music Matters president Jasper Donat welcomed everyone to the two day conclave and said that he was very excited to be in Mumbai and participate in the event. Mobilium Global CEO Ralph Simon, popularly known as the father of the ring tone, played the perfect presenter for the whole day expressing his unique understanding of Indian music and movies. He believes that the future belongs to the screenagers of India.

The Indian Music Industry president Vijay Lazarus started off the conference by stating the two barriers that are obstructing the growth of the music industry and its investments. According to him, the first barrier is piracy, which affects everyone internationally. He further emphasised, “Due to advance technology, the consumption of music has also increased substantially. However, the monetisation of music for creators and entrepreneurs has gone down. This is frightening.”

The second barrier that stops the growth of the music industry is the inability for the creative and the entrepreneurial fraternities to come together as one. He added, “This is very relevant for India and I am happy that this particular MRMC is dedicated to the artistes as they are the heart and soul of the industry. However, there is also the entrepreneur who is also equally involved. If both the creative and entrepreneurial fraternities come together, we could be a powerhouse and we will be able to monetise our rights”. He concluded his speech by saying that if these two factors can be overcome; there will be no growth limit for the industry.

This was followed by a keynote presentation by Sony Music Entertainment India president for India and Middle East Sridhar S Subramanium. He gave an overview on the current status of our Indian music industry and he said that it is in a “healthier and profitable” position today. He spoke about the “road to a billion” phenomenon and how in a short span of five years, the industry can grow to a billion dollar industry.  He said, “We just need all the right things and get all the ingredients in place and collectively figure work together”. Subramanium highlighted that one of the biggest concerns that lies in the music industry is trying to ape the west.

As part of the solutions, he suggested that the music industry should follow the TV and film industry as examples. He said, “The television industry has a huge advertising market. The music industry is effectively the same thing. People do not want to pay for music anymore. We should focus on making music free in order to curtail piracy. Just like how it happens in television, we should emphasise on getting a large addressable advertising market”.

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