What Rakesh Nigam of IPRS, Siddhartha Roy of Hungama Digital Say About Their Recent Licensing Deal

Marketing | October 14, 2020 | News

Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) Hungama Digital Media Rakesh Nigam Siddhartha Roy

The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) collaborated with Hungama Music, a leading music streaming service in the country, making it the first licensing deal with an Indian music streaming platform. The partnership endorses fair trade music for transparent and an ethical value chain for authors, composers, and all music rights holders. This licensing deal aims at helping original creators of music earn fair remuneration for their work with well-deserved royalties.

EVENTFAQS Media reached out to Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS and Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media to know more about the consortium, evolution of audio OTT platforms, future initiatives and more.

Here’s what Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS said:

How did the consortium between IPRS and Hungama Music come through? Please share the details.

At IPRS, it has always been our endeavour to create opportunities for our song-writers, composers and publishers for use of their works across different avenues. The future for music and its stakeholders is brighter when all industries work together and evolve the next phase of music usage together.  IPRS has been protecting the rights of authors, composers and publishers of music as a willing seller to streaming platforms and music users who have shown interest as a willing buyer. We congratulate Hungama Music, one of the leading music streaming services in the country, for being our ‘Fair Music Partner’, endorsing fair-trade music for transparent and an ethical value chain for authors, composers and all music rights holders. We are confident that this association, which marks the first major licensing deal with an Indian music streaming platform, will pave the path for a brighter future ahead.

What role does IPRS play in seeking respect, transparency and fair remuneration for its members?

IPRS has been committed to safeguarding the rights of authors and composers of music.  With the growing consumption of audio in the OTT market, it is imperative to create an equal trade system where music users and streaming platforms respect and pay music creators for their work. Paying back the creators shows respect for their creative work and help them have fair remuneration for the efforts put in. Participation in this movement, from other players in the music streaming industry, will help us stop the unfair treatment of music creators prevalent for many years now. It is indeed unfortunate to still see large corporate users of our repertoire stubbornly refuse to take a license. We aim to raise awareness on the reasons why fair trade of music is imperative, and how it will help the original creators. It will not only support the disadvantaged creators of music, but also the music community at large.  IPRS recently also addressed the concern regarding music platforms and apps 'not crediting' the lyricist through the campaign #CreditTheCreator. IPRS has been vocal on it and aims to build a strong proposition for acknowledging the authors and composers of music who spend their lifetime in creating their masterpieces.

What are the initiatives that you have on hand at IPRS for the near future?

IPRS celebrates its 51st anniversary this year.  The society has weathered many storms in these five decades, but it always managed to come out stronger. We aim to make IPRS the most efficient and transparent copyright society in Asia. We are currently undergoing development review by CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers to align our processes and practices to the global ‘best-in-class’.  We are also in the process of launching the self-serve member portal, which will bring in a high level of transparency into our operations where our members can view and check their repertoire at their convenience. Members have already seen the unprecedented increase of royalty distribution as our income has grown manifold. We have completed licensing agreements with leading DSPs and OTT platforms, such as YouTube, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Facebook, ALTBalaji, Hungama Music and Ola, thus opening new revenue channels for our members. Many more are in the pipeline.  We have also focused on the growing collection of revenue from overseas territories. We have concluded reciprocal agreements on the five continents and are in the process of appraising our repertoire with the sister societies. There had been an equal share of ups and downs with battles to fight, but all our efforts tend to one goal: even greater transparency and better service to all our members.

Here’s what Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media said:

IPRS has signed its first major licensing deal with Hungama. How will the deal help the creators of music to earn fair remuneration for their work with due royalties?

IPRS is India’s only copyright society representing the music industry. We are glad to work with them and hopeful that the association will help in bringing a positive change in the industry.

How do you think the music industry is evolving in the audio OTT economy since music streaming is the single biggest contributor to the overall growth of music consumption?

Digital music now constitutes more than 70% of music consumption in the country. A change in consumption habits has led to the music industry adopting a digital first approach. Over the last few years, everything from song releases to promotions have moved online. Besides giving the industry a wide reach, the digital medium has also offered the ease of reaching millions of consumers in a shorter span of time. This year, given the lack of on-ground events and concerts, the industry has also started exploring digital platforms for organizing concerts and events. This is going to have far-reaching effects, and will give musicians and labels a new medium to leverage, even after on-ground events make a come-back.

What other initiatives are planned through Hungama Music that will bring about collaborations and opportunities in the larger experiential and events industry?

At Hungama, we have always believed in offering our users strong music-driven experiences and have built properties across on-ground and online mediums. Last year, we worked with Diageo on McDowell’s No1 Soda No1YaariJam Fests – on-ground events organized across 12 boom-towns of India to offer consumers a chance to celebrate their friendships with the power of music. Further, we launched a property called Hungama Music Bus, a unique concert-on-wheels that featured India’s top musicians - Harrdy Sandhu, Jassie Gill, Indian Ocean, Javed Ali, Jeet Gannguli and Revanth - travelling in a bus across 11 cities for live concerts that were free for the audience. The bus covered over 7,000 miles in 60 days and gave the audiences a chance to experience the different flavours of music that exist in India. We even converted this on-ground property into an episodic experience for national viewers through a show that is available to stream across our extended network and even premiered on ShowBox music channel.

This year, we began to offer the concert experience to our users online. Over the last six months, we have launched properties like Hungama Artist Aloud #StayAtHome #StayEntertained, Independent Together #StayAtHome #StayEntertained that featured several renowned artistes performing live from their homes. On the occasion of World Environment Day, we also worked with Bhamla Foundation to help create and deliver an online concert experience with popular entertainers like Akshay Kumar, Kapil Sharma, Dia Mirza, Tapsee Pannu, Rajkumar Rao, Bhumi Pednekar, Shaan, Swanand Kirkire, etc. We are continuing to explore more such digital and on-ground experiential opportunities and will roll them out over the next few months.

In conversation with EVENTFAQS Media, Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS and Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media talk about the consortium, evolution of audio OTT platforms, future initiatives and more.

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