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T-Series becoming member of Copyright Society IPRS to further boost royalty revenues

IPRS which has more than 5,000 members, collects royalties on behalf of them each time their music is played, be it over the radio, live concerts or music OTTs.

March 31, 2021 / 08:49 AM IST

One of the biggest music companies in India, T-Series is now a member of The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) and this will be a game-changer for both the Copyright Society and the music industry.

IPRS over the years has been getting on board many authors, composers, and music publishers as its members and also has most of the major music companies too as its member. This includes Sony Music, Saregama, Universal Music Publishing, Times Music, Aditya Music, among others.

And now with T-Series coming on board, IPRS has further strengthened its position in terms of membership.

According to reports, T-Series registers an annual revenue of USD 100 million and commands 70-80 percent market share. In addition, T-Series is the most subscribed channel on YouTube with 178 million subscribers currently. And it gets the most number of views as well. In fact, T-Series became one of the most viewed channel on YouTube.  The Channel currently had over 1.78 million subscribers.

Be it films or digital, T-Series has a stronghold in every medium and this makes for a strong case in terms of royalty collection for IPRS.

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IPRS which has more than 5,000 members, collects royalties on behalf of them each time their music is played, be it over the radio, live concerts or music OTTs.

When it comes to overall royalty revenues, in the last three to four years there has been a significant increase in royalties collected by IPRS.

In FY2017-18, IPRS collected Rs 45 crore and the number increased to Rs 166 crore in FY2018-2019. And in FY19-20 the society collected Rs 170 crore.

According to their 2018-19 annual report, major contributions came from music streaming platforms at Rs 56.2 crore, while Rs 51.6 crore came from public performances.

Public performances, which contribute 31 percent to overall royalty collections, have not been happening since March due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

But digital is becoming a major revenue stream for IPRS all thanks to the growth in audio streaming.

According to the recently release FICCI-EY report, there was an increase in time spent on streaming apps last year due to new listening habits. The average monthly stream count was over 10 billion streams in the first half of 2020 and crossed 11 billion streams per month during the lockdown. Paid consumers on streaming apps also increased by 15 percent last year.

Growth in audio streaming makes a strong case for IPRS that charges music streaming platforms 12 percent of advertising revenue or a per-stream rate, whichever is higher. It has also clarified that the price per stream will not be valued at less than 10 paise. For a premium or subscription-based service, 12 percent of the end-user price has to be paid in terms of royalties.

All this shows that the digital medium’s contribution in terms of royalties to artists has strong potential to increase, especially now, with new members such as T-Series coming on board which has a strong digital presence.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Mar 31, 2021 08:49 am

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