#5 Ways Music Industry Players Can Look At Commercialization For art to prevail, it needs to be a business

By Soumini Sridhara Paul

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The 21st century has seen a large number of changes across the world in just the last 10-15 years. Technology and digital have played havoc in people's lives making it necessary to be constantly adaptable and ready to learn. But all is not so tiresome with this new form of life. We are closer to each other now than we ever were at least in terms of geography and physical contact and we are all able to communicate with ease. And one communication form that has been vastly encouraged by this new surge is the communication through music. With the help of various social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, multiple music streaming apps, etc. people are widely consuming music and sharing music with complete ease.

While the world has gone digital, I believe for the music space to continue growing, here are 5 ways that the Music Industry Players can look at commercialization:

  • App: While there are number of streaming services across the globe working on subscription and advertising models, the biggest challenge is to sustain the costs involved in acquisition if you are looking at mainstream content and development. The key is to identify your audience, the category and the need gap that you believe you can fill. Niche sometimes can be more beneficial when you are trying to create a premium product.
  • Promotional Service: One of the things that an artist is looking for is the opportunity to make himself/herself popular. Popularity leads to revenue and thus a sustainable career. Building a compelling promotions outfit which can actually show results in what will turn the music industry around. The opportunity is in being able to become the industry's centre point for artist development.
  • Venue: India is buzzing with talent and there is a great amount of music being produced annually. Most venues are so focused on F&B that they are not willing to invest into the entertainment that actually provides the experience for the venue to grow as a destination. Non-F&B venues that are meant to be booked for large scale events are too expensive for anyone to be doing it on an ongoing basis. The need of the hour is to have players in the F&B space who either understand the music space as well or bring in people who understand music from a consumer experience point of view to make it a sutainable business for a venue to create a music experience.
  • Studios as Music Producers: This is something that is picking up momentum and there needs to be more of it. For a long time reality shows were the platform for talent to showcase themselves but what after that? While they all land up doing shows and make a lot of money, how long can they keep doing covers? If an artist is to be a true musician and have a career as one, he/she needs to have content that is his/hers and it needs to be original for which studios as music producers can become the go-to solution ensuring quality as well as quantity. With independent music distribution picking up momentum it is necessary to ensure that there are players who can provide the necessary infrastructural support to make it viable for talent to be able to build a career around music.
  • Merchandise: While this is largely dependent on the popularity of the artist and is a very successful model abroad, it is fairly untapped in the Indian context. The need of the hour is an entity who can use merchandising as a strong marketing tool to build popularity of the artist. While for a popular artist, any merchandise works, it's the unique and special merchandise for an upcoming artist that will attract fans. Fans have always played a very big role in making an artist big and the time now is to make them the heroes in an artist's career.

The music space today continues to be monetized through different avenues including streaming, publishing, downloads, live concerts and media. The key is for one to understand that while the common man believes that consuming music for free is his birthright, there will be none to consume if one is not able to monetize it in different ways. For art to prevail, it needs to be a business. And every artist needs to realize that to be able to keep his art alive he needs to think commercially too.

Soumini Sridhara Paul

Vice President - Artist Aloud

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