Pirate’s Share: Piracy is Not Music to Many Ears


The revenues from digital formats of music, as per an article published by RIAA, was about US$ 4.4B in 2013, and is growing at a exponential rate. The evolution of novel modes and means of digital exploitation has opened doors to music creators and owners across the world, as well as pirates. With more than 500 record labels releasing recordings in more than 20 languages, the music business in India is not only very large, but also diverse. The share of digital music revenues is estimated to be more than 90% and is expected to touch INR 18B in 2015.

Despite the increasing numbers, a large portion of potential revenue from digital exploitation is lost due to piracy. RIAA estimates that since the peer to peer file sharing platform, Napster, came into play in 1999, the industry has lost 56% of revenue, dropping from US$ 14.6B to US$ 7.0B by 2013. In India, the impact of piracy on the music industry is estimated to be 54% of the potential revenue. These numbers are staggering, and assuming that they are close to reality, the music industry in India is losing close to INR 1900 Crores due to piracy.

Today, digital pirates operate by various modes and means – from torrents to mobile applications. If Bollywood and other industries can come together, and dent the digital pirate armour by 10%, the result is around 200 Crores of benefit. 50% would take the number to around 1000 crores. What then is stopping the industry from brandishing its sword?

References: here, here
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