Interviews

“We Should Spread Awareness Among Users About The Importance Of Supporting And Paying For Music”-Rumpa Banerjee

“We Should Spread Awareness Among Users About The Importance Of Supporting And Paying For Music”-Rumpa Banerjee

Meet Rumpa Banerjee, a seasoned marketing professional with a track record of success in Communications, Brand Management, and Marketing. With a diverse skill set encompassing integrated marketing campaigns, brand/product launches, media planning, content strategy, and social media & content marketing, Rumpa has consistently delivered results across various domains.

Currently serving as the head of Corporate Communication & Member Relations at IPRS, Banerjee plays a pivotal role in shaping the organization's image and expanding its reach. She has spearheaded member outreach and development programs, significantly contributing to the growth of IPRS. As the Communication lead, Banerjee is dedicated to building a new brand image for IPRS and fostering conversations across platforms on issues relevant to the music industry and its stakeholders.

In an exclusive interview with our series, "Power People," Rumpa Banerjee offers an insightful glimpse into her remarkable journey.

Here are edited excerpts:

Q1.Q1.Can you tell us about your journey and how you came to be the Head of Marketing/Communication & Member Relations at IPRS?

The journey of my career began in the late nineties, where I initiated my professional life in Kolkata. Growing up in a culturally rich environment, surrounded by creativity, especially in music and Bengali culture, influenced my career choices. Given my deep-rooted love for content and entertainment, venturing into media and entertainment seemed like a natural progression.

Starting in print media, I witnessed the rapid rise of television in the late 2000s, which led to a decline in print readership. Recognizing the shift, I spearheaded the expansion of the audio-visual department within the print publication, blending both mediums seamlessly. However, my fascination with television grew, particularly with Star's significant presence in Bengal and its innovative content offerings.

Joining Star Jalsa marked a turning point in my career, where I experienced the dynamic pace and creativity unique to television. Despite fierce competition from established players like Zee Bangla and ETV Bangla (later rebranded as Colors Bangla), Star Jalsa emerged as the top General Entertainment Channel (GEC) in Bengal. This journey taught me invaluable lessons in marketing, understanding consumer psyche, and building a brand that resonates with its audience.

Relocating to Mumbai in 2015, I joined Star Plus, exposing me to some of the brightest minds in the media and entertainment industry. While the challenges were significant, the experience was enriching, allowing me to push my limits and hone my leadership skills. However, when the opportunity arose to join IPRS, it intrigued me. Transitioning from using content to understanding compliance, I saw the chance to make a significant impact in an organization with a rich legacy but faced with challenges of perception and resistance.

Assuming the role at IPRS presented a fresh challenge of building a brand from scratch, with a focus on member relations and adding value beyond licensing. Despite initial hurdles, I embraced the opportunity to reshape perceptions and leverage the brand's legacy to propel it towards greater success.

Overall, my journey reflects a blend of passion, adaptability, and resilience, navigating through evolving landscapes in the media and entertainment industry.

Q2.How do you approach marketing and communication strategies in the music industry, particularly regarding rights management and member relations?

In comparing the marketing activities conducted earlier in my career with the current marketing and PR communication efforts at IPRS address, several distinctions emerge due to the unique nature of the organization. We are a not for profit organisation and the revenues we collect are our members' royalties. Expensive marketing campaigns are not viable, so the focus shifts to finding opportunities for collaboration within the industry.

The key strategy involves engaging with like-minded partners and individuals who share our mission, thereby expanding our reach without exorbitant expenditures. This approach emphasizes the importance of leveraging strong ideas over lavish budgets. By conceptualizing innovative and unique campaigns, we aim to connect with our audience effectively.

Communicating effectively presents a challenge, given the technical and often dull nature of IP rights management. Striking a balance between conveying essential information and maintaining engagement is crucial. We aim to make our communication vibrant and exciting while ensuring clarity on legal matters, particularly when addressing creative communities unfamiliar with legal jargon.

Participating in industry events and conferences serves as a platform to assert IPRS address's role in rights management, challenging misconceptions and highlighting its significance in facilitating fair compensation for creators. The emphasis is on dispelling the notion that IP rights organizations solely exist to extract fees.

Member relations present another facet of our marketing approach, focusing on providing value and support to our members. In an era of information overload, we strive to be a reliable source of guidance and assistance, addressing the diverse needs of creators. This entails not only imparting industry knowledge but also adapting to evolving technological landscapes.

Remaining relevant in the lives of our members is a continual endeavor, requiring versatility and creativity to avoid monotony. Our member relations strategy aims to foster trust and confidence, offering tailored support and resources to navigate the intricacies of the music business.

Overall, our marketing approach at IP address underscores the importance of strategic partnerships, innovative thinking, and member-centricity in achieving our organizational objectives within the constraints of a nonprofit model.

Q3.How many members you cater at a time at IPRS?

Currently, our member base comprises nearly 15,000 individuals. It's crucial for us to maintain regional connections, recognizing the unique sentiments, cultures, and work styles inherent to each area. To facilitate this, we've established regional teams and committees. Each regional committee consists of six members, including authors, composers, and publishers, representing our markets. These committees serve as the extended eyes, ears, arms, and legs of IPRS, as they are deeply connected to their respective communities. This connection enables them to better understand and address the concerns and challenges faced by creators, ultimately aiding us in supporting their career success. Language presents a significant challenge in India, given the diverse linguistic landscape. Efficient communication in regional languages is a priority, as it allows for more accessible content consumption. We're actively working to overcome this barrier, recognizing the importance of delivering information in a language that resonates with our members.

Q4.What initiatives or campaigns have you led that you are particularly proud of?

Over the past four years, there have been numerous initiatives undertaken to enhance engagement and support for creators within the music industry. Amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, new opportunities emerged as daily routines slowed down and online connectivity became more prevalent. Leveraging this shift, the organization launched Creative Shalla, a series aimed at adding value for members by hosting candid conversations between established and aspiring creators.

Recognizing the importance of proper accreditation in the digital age, the "Credit the Creator" campaign was launched to ensure proper acknowledgment for creators behind the music. Additionally, efforts were made to address the underrepresentation of women in the industry through the "Her Music" campaign, aimed at fostering greater diversity and inclusion.

Challenges related to compliance and licensing were also addressed through campaigns such as "License Liya Kya”," aimed at shifting mindsets towards fair compensation for music. Educational workshops were organized to empower creators with knowledge on industry trends and technological advancements.

Continuing this trajectory, the "My Music, My Rights" campaign was launched to educate independent artists on protecting their intellectual property and maximizing earnings. These ongoing efforts underscore the organization's commitment to supporting and empowering creators within the music industry, with a focus on education, advocacy, and community-building.

Q5.What can we expect in music business landscape in 2024?

In 2024, the music industry undergoes a significant transformation with the rise of digital streaming as a primary revenue source. While digital platforms contribute substantially to the industry's revenue globally, India lags behind in subscription-based models, primarily relying on free consumption and ad-driven models. This year marks a pivotal moment as streaming platforms transition towards subscription-based models, prompting a shift in the industry's dynamics.

Additionally, 2024 witnesses a widespread adoption of technology among the creator community, along with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and its potential impact on various sectors, including music. However, the rapid technological advancements also necessitate a reassessment of existing laws governing the rights of creators and music owners to ensure fair use and consumption.

Building awareness among users about the importance of supporting and paying for music becomes a critical endeavor in 2024. The vast consumer market in India holds immense potential, but it requires a shift towards adopting sustainable pay models for music consumption to sustain the industry's growth.

Furthermore, addressing compliance and enforcement issues emerges as a pressing concern. Despite having robust copyright laws in place, enforcement remains lax, leading to widespread copyright infringement. Collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, including government authorities and industry players, are essential to strengthen enforcement mechanisms and uphold the rule of law.

Ultimately, 2024 represents a pivotal juncture for the music industry, where concerted efforts are needed to adapt to evolving trends, ensure fair compensation for creators, and foster an environment conducive to creativity and innovation.

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