Tips Music's Kumar Taurani Shares Why Music-on-Demand is the Need of the Hour for the Industry
The Indian music industry has created thousands of jobs while they were entertaining us
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From the winged eye lined actress smiling at the camera to the couple running around a tree in monsoon or the male superstar dancing shirtless to express his heartbreak to the item girl dancing to please the villains - we all love the tadka or tempering of Indian music
Be it Kishore Kumar, A R Rahman, Sunidhi Chauhan or Badshah Indians cannot deny their love for music. It is like the side dish served with the main course, which of course here in our films.
The Indian music industry has created thousands of jobs while they were busy entertaining us – but running a music company is not an easy job at hand.
Tips Music was founded by Ramesh Taurani and his younger brother Kumar Taurani as a music dealer company of Saregama HMV, Universal, etc. With time, the duo started producing in-house labels with a special focus on bhajan, gazals and regional languages.
Within no time, the Taurani brothers realized the potential of the industry and hence, extended their wings to film music in 1988. After few hits and misses, everything then seems to work out in favour of Tips Music.
In a conversation with Entrepreneur India, Kumar Taurani, Managing Director of Tips shares that, "In the mid-1990s, we grew to become the market leader and boosted of 60-65 per cent market share in new music acquisition segment. We even hosted a successful IPO"
By the end of the 20th century, radio was privatized. With a span of a few years, there were multiple radio stations and customer preferred radio over cassettes.
While on the other side, as MP3 CDs started gaining popularity, piracy became of matter of concern and the film industry along with the music industry suffered losses.
"We knew it was time to reinvent our business model. And that's when Tips started focusing on B2B players instead of B2C," Taurani says while adding that, "With this model coming into play, the customers belonged to an internet company, television or radio station. So, even if the company doesn't want to pay the premium, the company will make money to the advertisement."
India has more than 300 million smartphone users in the country. With the decrease in the data cost, music on demand players such as Ganna, Savvn, Wynk, Amazon Prime Music, etc. have reported a surge in subscribers.
"Due to the smartphone and data boom, my customer base have increased multi-fold. This has been a blessing not just for content production companies but also for the music industry," he pointed out.
Taurani feels that the internet-led music industry is very young and it is only a matter of time - wherein people will prefer paying just like they do to OTT platforms such Netflix and Alt Balaji. He adds, "At the end, all that matters is experience and people are will to pay for it."
In the last few years, both international and domestic OTT players have been able to secure places in people's phone and viewers are willing to pay for premium services – majorly because of the content quality.
One of the largest OTT players, Netflix has about 125 million subscribers globally and the video streaming platform views India one of the major markets. Recently, Netflix also released its first India original content – Sacred Games, which received a lot of appreciation from the netizens. The US-based company is now looking to acquire approximately 10m subscribers by 2020.
Back to square one
Coming back to TIPS, the producer believes that he has cracked the deal of making a mark of the company in the current set of disruption.
"With recent movies such as Aksar 2 and many more, we think smaller budget movies which focus more on quality music does really well as against the big-budget films. With this approach even our producers are happy. And hence, we are planning to acquire right for smaller films – where there is a lot of scope for quality music to do well", he shared.
Additionally, considering the growth of OTT players and web series in India, Tips Music isn't shying away from the market.
Taurani is in talks with few production houses to produce and tap the OTT market via web series. However, the talks are in the preliminary stages and hence, the audience will have to watch out for the news.