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Music Industry Just Got Smarter With Disruptions In OTT Streaming

The music lover of 2020 will have some of the best tech minds and most gifted musicians across the world baying for his attention, with advertisers queuing across the block for seconds of this attention span while streaming players will continue to fuel this unending cycle.

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The year that went by will largely be remembered as a watershed year for India’s music industry. The invasion of big OTT players and technological disruptions has changed the way Indians listened to music. It’s truly astonishing how deeply mobile technology has impacted music consumption across the country in recent years.

The advent of AI and the ability to curate content has been a game-changer for the music streaming industry. Today we can curate playlists for every occasion - whether it's a house party, a long drive a long-awaited vacation or regular events like the daily workouts or de-stressing sessions after a long day at work. The underlying disruptive factor behind this transformation is the technological progress in digital music with OTT streaming.

Music streaming services have had a two-fold positive impact on the country’s entertainment industry. Firstly, they have helped break new grounds by tapping into new markets, and secondly, they have also given new music labels and artists a leg up in the industry’s losing battle against piracy. 

Thanks to the virtuous network effect this has triggered, the upcoming year would see more consumers from the hinterlands join the music streaming bandwagon than some of the past year combined. Given a majority of this new crop of semi-rural and rural users would prefer content in their own native language, most music streaming platforms would invest in exclusive regional music libraries as well as non-music content like influencer videos, podcasts, audio shows and other unique content offerings that would be appealing to this newly on-boarded primarily millennial audience. This half-a-billion strong audience would make India one of the most lucrative online music streaming markets globally.

Besides the original and localized content-led explosive growth, the streaming industry is also making major headways in emerging mobile-first and voice-first technologies to enhance the user experience and advertising avenues. This leads us to believe while the first leg of this industry’s expansion was led by the rapid penetration of entry-level smartphones and wide access to affordable 4G plans, the next phase would be aided by AI & ML-led product/UI upgrades like intuitive music recommendations, voice assistants, smart speakers and aligned musical experiences like Karaoke. As these new content formats and UI upgrades trigger faster adoption, most streaming players will invest & scale revenue from ad-formats other than Display.

The Indian music industry is at an unforeseen crossroad. Today’s music lovers have more music at their fingertips than ever before, and this democratising of access is a win-win for the consumers, music streaming players and advertisers alike. The music lover of 2020 will have some of the best tech minds and most gifted musicians across the world baying for his attention, with advertisers queuing across the block for seconds of this attention span while streaming players will continue to fuel this unending cycle. At the end, it's a win for music, and that’s what matters.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Prashan Agarwal

The author is CEO of Gaana

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