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Business News/ Industry / Media/  Labels, artistes tap growing demand for non-film music
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Labels, artistes tap growing demand for non-film music

Growing consumer preference for local language content has led to big breakout successes for regional artists on YouTube

Music labels such as T-Series have used the pandemic period to launch non-film songs in Hindi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri and other languages.  (Photo: Mint)Premium
Music labels such as T-Series have used the pandemic period to launch non-film songs in Hindi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri and other languages.  (Photo: Mint)

Music labels and artistes have set their sights on more non-film songs to reach out to their audiences. The non-film genre has more than doubled in music label catalogues—from 5-10% to 30% in the last three years.

Music labels such as Saregama, T-Series and others have used the pandemic period, with its absence of film releases, to launch non-film original songs in Hindi, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati and Haryanvi, to generate revenue and increase audience share. Singers, too, found an opportunity to expand the reach and generate revenue.

“With the pandemic, as people stayed home, entertainment needs almost quadrupled. While shoots were barely happening, we understood there was a growing demand for newer content on YouTube, video streaming and music platforms. Film releases were stalled, so we ventured into non-film originals," said Vikram Mehra, managing director of Saregama India that launched Paani Paani with Badshah in June 2021 and Bachcha Party with Bappi Lahiri’s grandson-Rego B more recently in the kids’ music space.

It also launched The-Live In with Javed Akhtar and Mohit Chauhan, a rock song about live-in relationships. The company has proactively amplified music in Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Haryanvi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, and other languages, with the regional subset ensuring more than 50% of all the content within the category, Mehra said.

In 2021, top music videos largely comprised non-movie hits by music labels such as Zee Music, Aditya Music and Saregama Music, followed by VYRL Originals and DM - Desi Melodies, said Pawan Agarwal, director of music partnerships at YouTube. “To better connect with viewers, many of the non-film songs released last year were also accompanied by music videos with distinct storylines featuring popular movie actors," he said.

Growing consumer preference for local language content has led to big breakout successes for regional and non-Hindi artists on YouTube. “We saw Bhojpuri and Punjabi feature on our Hits of 2021 playlist in a significant way, along with Haryanvi, Telugu, Tamil and Kannada. There has been a continued rise of Bhojpuri artistes Ankush Raja and Shilpi Raj, both of whom also feature in the Top Music Videos list," Agarwal added.

Covid may have given the original music genre a boost but the seeds were sown a while ago when internet democratized the music ecosystem, said Tarsame Mittal, founder of TM Talent Management that manages several musicians including Arijit Singh, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani. Sandeep Lodha, CEO, Gaana that also curates originals said the company is creating a set of experiences like Gaana Live where a user can join concerts and live performances of artists from the comfort of their homes. “As our audience adapts in their lives, we are here to adapt with them and curate relevant music experiences," Lodha said.

The evolution of non-film music in regional languages has benefited short video apps . “The ability to share songs, albums, and playlists on social media platforms has given the industry new ways to show its creativity to its digital fanbase," said Shashank Shekhar, senior director, content strategy and operations, Moj and ShareChat.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lata Jha
Lata writes about the media and entertainment industry for Mint, focusing on everything from traditional film and TV to newer areas like video and audio streaming, including the business and regulatory aspects of both. She loves movies and spends a lot of her free time in theatres, which makes her job both fun and a bit of a challenge given that entertainment news often just talks about the glamorous side of things. Lata, on the other hand, tries to find and report on themes and trends in the entertainment world that most people don't notice, even though a lot of people in her country are really into movies. She’s a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.
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Published: 20 Apr 2022, 10:04 AM IST
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