EY Report: India's Music Industry Faces Challenges Due To Copyright Compliance And Legal Ambiguity

By Loudest Team
January 05, 2024
EY Report: India's Music Industry Faces Challenges Due To Copyright Compliance And Legal Ambiguity

India's music industry, now a global cultural force, faces impediments stemming from inadequate copyright compliance, a lack of awareness regarding music rights, and legal ambiguity, as outlined in a recent comprehensive report by professional services company EY.

EY's report reveals a notable growth in music publishing revenues within India, surging from INR 3.4 billion (USD $40.8 million) in 2019-2020 to INR 8.84 billion ($106.1 million) in 2022-2023, marking a 2.5-fold increase over three years. EY suggests the potential for a further doubling of music publishing revenues by 2026-27, reaching INR 16.9 billion ($202.8 million), contingent upon the resolution of existing challenges.

A critical concern highlighted in the report is the dismal copyright compliance rate, currently standing at just 1.2%. Among music digital service providers (DSPs), only 71% possess a license from the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), while short video platforms fare slightly better at 56%. Surprisingly, less than 1% of retail establishments, hotels, and restaurants hold licenses.

TV channels and radio stations also exhibit significant gaps in licensing, with 796 out of 905 TV channels and 1,033 out of 1,035 radio stations lacking IPRS licenses. The report attributes this to a combination of legal uncertainty and misconceptions regarding payment obligations.

The report underscores the dominant role of music in films, constituting 70% to 80% of the Indian music market. Unlike global practices, India typically negotiates master and music publishing as a single right, a trend further complicated by contradictory court rulings on separate royalty payments for music publishers.

Despite amendments to India's copyright law in 2012, subsequent court rulings, including a 2021 Delhi High Court decision, have led to confusion over whether separate royalty payments are required for music publishers. The lack of clarity extends to awareness among music creators, with only 13,500 out of an estimated 60,000 registering with IPRS.

The report emphasizes the need for simplifying compliance processes to stimulate growth for music publishers and artists, advocating for improved music education capabilities in India. EY estimates the annual revenue of India's music industry at INR 120 billion ($1.44 billion), constituting 6% of the country's media and entertainment sector, a percentage comparable to the United States.

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