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Rabindra Narayan Talks About Next-Gen Business Models In Punjabi Music Industry

Rabindra Narayan Talks About Next-Gen Business Models In Punjabi Music Industry

The Punjabi music industry is currently undergoing a significant transformation. From its origins in the rural areas of Punjab amidst the sounds of impromptu gigs called “Akahada” to becoming a global phenomenon with sold out arenas in Canada, it has changed beyond recognition over time due to innovative business strategies employed by labels, musicians and entrepreneurs. A punjabi singer like Diljit Dosanjh is no longer a mere Punjabi or Indian artist, he has become a true global artist who just created a record of the largest-attended concert of an Indian artist.

Independent Labels Rise Alongside Digital Distribution Platforms:

One trend that stands out within this industry is the rise of independent record companies as well as digital distribution channels. In recent years with technological advancements coupled with more accessible music production tools; many artists have started bypassing traditional recording companies so they can have increased creative freedom over their work. Independent labels like Speed Records and big giant like T-Series Apna Punjab are not the only Punjabi music labels anymore. Humble Music, Whitehill Records have also become major players in the sector while also promoting independent talent nurturing an atmosphere filled with creativity and experimentation. The latest trend is that a Punjabi singer now owns his or her own label and markets the music independently on streaming platforms rather than approaching a big music label.

Music Making and Releasing at your Fingertips:

Technology is playing a big role in the new music business. Right from recording to marketing, making and selling music is now just a keyboard away. One no longer needs an elaborate sound recording studio and an array of musicians to record a song. You can do it at home with Reaper, Pro Logic and many A.I. driven recording softwares which recreate studio sound beautifully. Live musicians are a luxury and software driven loops and music is the order of the day. We are on the verge of entering into an era where one doesn’t even need to be a trained singer. Auto tune and AI would do the job for you while Runway ML, Midjourney, Wondershare Filmora can create a video set to your music easily with artificial models and avatars acting out in your music video. In short, production is easy and economical and distribution is just a finger click away. Just press a key on Distrokid and you are up and running on 140 streaming platforms across the world.

Going Global: International Collaborations & Cross-Cultural Blending:

In the current world of interconnection, Punjabi music has gone beyond physical borders to attract people from every corner of the earth. Singers are using international cooperation and cross-cultural blend to grow their fan base and exploit new markets. It is now more frequent for global musicians to partner with Punjabi artists as this will give them a chance to produce songs that reach top lists across different countries hence appealing many individuals worldwide. Such a tendency does not only diversify the music industry but also gives performers a chance to make money out of the international need for Punjabi tracks. Live Punjabi concerts in Barcelona, Vienna were unheard of. But now they are a reality. Every Punjabi singer worth some skil is booked on most weekends somewhere or the other across the globe. Engaging with fans in real-time, artists can also collaborate with influencers and content creators to create unique and engaging promotional material that resonates with their target audience.

Adapting to Streaming Services and Online Platforms:

With the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music, Punjabi music labels and artists have had to adapt their strategies to capitalise on this new revenue stream. Instead of relying solely on album sales or digital downloads, artists can now earn royalties through streaming platforms based on the number of plays their songs receive. Furthermore, online platforms like Patreon allow fans to support their favourite artists directly by subscribing to exclusive content or making monthly contributions.

Harnessing the Power of Digital Marketing and Social Media:

In an era dominated by social media and digital marketing, Punjabi music labels and artists are leveraging these platforms to amplify their reach and engage with fans on a deeper level. From viral marketing campaigns to interactive content experiences, digital platforms offer a myriad of opportunities for artists to connect with their audience and build a loyal fan base. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube have become indispensable tools for promoting music releases, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and engaging in real-time interactions with fans. By harnessing the power of digital marketing and social media, Punjabi music labels and artists are able to drive engagement, increase visibility, and ultimately, boost revenue. One of the biggest success of social media has been Sargi Maan who recorded her own version of an Inderjit Nikku song from a Punjabi movie, Jismaa Ton Paar Di Gall Hai and put the whole social media on fire. She subsequently got the music video from the film remixed to her voice and has now launched her own music label. Simran Chaudhary is another Instagram and streaming platform sensation. She literally rode the social media wave and arrived with her song Aa Gaya Ni and Dabbi Bazar. Simran and more such Punjabi artists get views in millions and are now performing to packed houses.

Investing in Artist Development and Talent Management:

The success of any music label or artist hinges on the quality of talent they nurture and promote. Recognising this, Punjabi music labels are investing more in artist development programs and talent management. These initiatives focus on honing an artist's skills, enhancing their stage presence, expanding their network within the industry, and guiding their career trajectory. By equipping artists with the necessary tools and resources to succeed, labels can foster long-term relationships that benefit both parties financially. Also there is one hard fact - big artists cost money. It is now better to grab a new talent, nurture, support and release music to then make money through live shows with the artists.

Building International Collaborations:

Punjabi music has gained significant popularity worldwide in recent years thanks to global collaborations between local artists and international stars. By teaming up with renowned musicians from different genres or countries, Punjabi artists can tap into new markets and expose their music to a larger audience base. This not only enhances the diversity of their fan base but also opens doors for lucrative opportunities such as international tours, brand partnerships, film soundtracks etc.

Live Shows Make Money, Not Music Tracks:

It is well established now that a singer now earns major money from live shows. Post Covid, audiences across the world have taken to live shows like anything. From birthday parties and corporate events to Music fests and individual concerts - big bucks are there to be made. If some industry insiders are to be believed then the top A list artists like Mika, Sartaj, Guru Randhawa and more are in the 50-Lakh per show club while Diljit Dosanjh is in his own league with each of his show netting him revenues in crores. A small time singer from Ludhiana also manages a “Jagrata” or a “Sangeet ceremony” for a couple of lakhs. Dance Punjabi Dance!

The landscape of revenue generation in the music industry has evolved dramatically over time. Diversification is no longer a choice; it is essential for sustainability in an increasingly competitive market environment. Digital marketing power must be harnessed The power of digital marketing cannot be overlooked, especially when combined with social media. Streaming services offer new ways to monetise content while international collaborations present exciting avenues for exposure and growth. Therefore, investment in artist development programs is necessary as they nurture talent that will drive success in the future of music industry.

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