IMI’s Digital Music Study 2019 Offers Insights On Music Engagement in India

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IMI, the organisation that represents the recorded music industry in India, has released the Digital Music Study 2019, which examines how music consumers aged 16–64 engage with recorded music in India.

Some of the key highlights of the report are: 

Digital Music listening is on the rise.

Respondents typically spend 19.1 hours per week listening to music – higher than the global average of 18hours. This equates to about 2.7 hours – or the equivalent of listening to 54 three-minute songs – daily. One important to notice here is that it is below the last year’s average of 21.7 hours per week. Why has it gone down?

80% of Consumers identify as ‘loving’ or being ‘fanatical’ about music

This is much higher than the global average of 54%.

Older age groups increasingly embrace audio streaming services.

Engagement with audio streaming in India is active, with 90% of all respondents accessing a music streaming service in the past month – up by about 7% over 2018. The highest rate of growth for engagement is in the 16 – 24-year-old age group, with 97% of that group accessing a music streaming service in the past month which is 10% higher than the engagement in 2018.  

Copyright infringement still remains a challenge for the music ecosystem. 67% of all surveyed used unlicensed methods to listen to or obtain music in the past month, while 63% used illegal stream-ripping services – the leading form of music piracy.

Some of the Music Business Professionals shared their views on the report:

Aditya Music, Director, Aditya Gupta said, “Thanks to cheap data and smartphone penetration Music consumption in India is growing regionally. The growth rate will be higher in the regional segment due to a low smartphone base. The increase in consumption of catalogues of music in languages also serves as a reminder of the diversity of India and reaffirms our belief that regional music is the new champion of India’s soft power. 

Times Music, COO, Mandar Thakur also remarked, “Through our various associations with local companies, Times Music, owns a significant market and leadership share in Punjabi music and it’s enriching to see it at #4 in this report. We have witnessed remarkable growth in subscriber numbers, organic views and much better visibility of this genre of music. Moreover, since its inception, Times Music has been committed to the growth of India’s own Spiritual and Devotional music, and it’s great to see these cultural genres thriving in the age of streaming.

Universal Music Group, South Asia MD, Devraj Sanyal said, “At universal music group, we have seen the success of the Vyrl Platform and the change it’s bought into the music industry by enabling an artist first ecosystem. We believe that hip-hop too is a global phenomenon whose time has come in India to get into and win in the mainstream streamscape and compete with film and non-film music alike. With that, we launched ‘Mass Appeal India’, a global partnership between Nas’s label Mass Appeal and UMG India and South Asia to be the first of its kind global imprint for Indigenous HipHop for the world. Our first superstar release of Divine has already shown us how hip-hop is leaping like any major song, and we’re seeing it as we get ready to drop his debut album in a few days. There is a lineup of incredible hip-hop talent who will showcase their expertise in the coming months on the Mass Appeal India label.

Universal Music Group, India and South Asia, SVP, Vinit Thakkar commented, “Universal Music India’s VYRL Originals has been leading the creation of a culture and category of non-film music in India by being a true artist-first initiative which nurtures and develops singer-songwriters. Today it has the most enviable roster of talent across new and established artists from across the region. In a brief period, VYRL has become to non-film music what Bollywood is to film music by enabling an ecosystem which is primed for artists as they spread their music into the streamscape with the same ability across mediums as film music has had for ages. 

IMI, President and CEO, Blaise Fernandes said, “The Digital Music Study 2019 has revealed some illuminating trends in India: the 80% music fandom base, the highest in the world, is the main reason for the 21.3% growth rate India achieved over the past years. The top 2 favourite genres are Bollywood new and Bollywood old. The fastest-growing segments are of consumers in the age groups 25-34 and 35-44, which is the perfect launchpad for a premium subscription-based model in India. 67% of piracy rates remain a matter of grave concern.

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