Increased Mobile Internet Usage & Digital Consumption Changing The Outlook Of The Music Industry

November 8, 2012

During the recent “Global Music Industry Overview” session at’s Nokia MusicConnects 4 there was a panel discussion on the “New Music Ecosystem”. This panel discussion was moderated by Mobilium Global CEO Ralph Simon, which consisted of the likes of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment MD and CEO Neeraj Roy, Youtube APAC head of music Anthony Zameczkowski, Nokia Entertainment operations director James Bradbury, EMI Music India MD and CEO T Suresh and Fountainhead Promotions and Events chairman Brian Tellis.

The way musical content is delivered and consumed has undergone a drastic change over the past few years. Digital has become the premier medium fueled by the increased adoption of mobile and internet. If reports are to be believed 65 per cent of the Indian music business is digital now, and close to 12 billion micro transactions are made by 200 million consumers every year.

One of the first points highlighted during the discussion was the fact that social media and television have a much greater impact on the music industry today than earlier. Ralph Simon further stressed on the need to look at this as an opportunity and devise ways to monetize them.Social media definitely has opened up the playing field, as far as the music industry is concerned. Most artists have their personalized Facebook pages or Twitter accounts, and release scratches and demos of their latest tracks. So long before the tracks are available in the market fans have already had a taste of it. Same goes for YouTube, which has become perfect launch pads for videos, behind scene action, concert videos, etc.

A recent Ericsson’s report titled “The Digital Lives of Generation Z In India” revealed that Kids & Pre-teens in urban India are now hooked to the Internet on mobile. On one front this is a worrying sign, but for the music industry this should be a warning. They need adapt their offerings for the mobile in order to stay relevant in ‘Young India’s’ mindspace. Their business models need to be realigned in tune with the medium. Dhingana, a popular music streaming service, has taken the logical next step and  expanded their business model. Others need to follow suit.

Number of active internet users currently in India is about 135 million (though this number continues to be hotly debated) and is expected to reach 400 million by 2016. Even though piracy has been rampant in India over the last decade, and one of the biggest worries of the music industry, consumers are ready to buy music online and this is clear from the success of Flyte, Flipkart’s online music store. Flyte reported 600,000 downloads in 5 months, since its launch.

The method of consumption is rapidly altering, India already has over 1 billion mobile connections and an increasing number of consumers are accessing the internet using their mobile devices. Mobile devices are not restricted to smartphones and tablets; it includes feature phones as well. The industry needs take these realities into consideration and create products and services to meet the requirements.

Image Courtesy |  bluesqaretips