NEW DELHI: Music streaming contributed 27% growth to the Indian music industry last year, which saw overall revenues increase from Rs 570.7 crore (US$85.78m) in 2016 to Rs 725.6 crore in 2017.

That is according to the latest figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), the London-headquartered, non-profit organisation for the worldwide music industry, which found the overall revenue increase of Rs 154.9 crore to be the largest since 2011.

Revenues from music streaming grew at an even faster rate of 37.26% and revenues from digital music now amount to 91% of India’s recorded music revenue, Business Standard reported.

Last year, digital revenue alone was Rs 665.6 crore, or Rs 95 crore greater than the music industry’s combined revenue of Rs 570.7 crore in 2016.

Increased data consumption following the introduction of cheaper data rates as well as higher smartphone penetration are reported to be the two main factors driving the positive growth of digital music consumption in India.

Commenting on the development, Shridhar Subramaniam, Sony Music’s president of India and the Middle East, said: “Last year’s figures were phenomenal, and we were expecting the market to do well this year as well, but a 27% growth in 2017 has exceeded our forecasts.

“Going into 2018, our aim is to make music even more accessible, affordable and unlimited. To sustain this growth the industry will start laying the groundwork for a subscription eco-system.”

However, a major downside to the otherwise positive news was accompanying evidence that many music listeners in India are continuing to consume content from pirated websites.

According to a 2017 study by Ipsos for Indian Music Industry (IMI), an IFPI affiliate, 94% of the 900 consumers who took part in the survey admitted to using some form of piracy to access music.

“While the 2017 figures may paint a pretty picture, Indian Music Industry is still greatly impacted by digital piracy and value gap,” said Vikram Mehra, managing director of Saregama, India’s oldest music label.

“We must work together in curbing piracy through a multi-pronged approach involving various stakeholders at the state and central levels.”

Sourced from IFPI, Business Standard; additional content by WARC staff