Optimism ahead of Budget 2023-24: How music consumption, spending has changed post Covid19?
The sum for the Annual Budget 2022-23 of the Ministry of Culture is Rs 3009.05 Crore as against the revised sum of Rs 2665 Crore for Budget Plan 2021-2022.
The Covid pandemic has subsided and the post-Covid world has emerged into a new normal. Today, the world looks significantly different as people emerge from one of the greatest crises the world ever witnessed.
Under such circumstances, India's thriving music industry too has undergone a major shift towards digitalization of the entire music landscape. Live music events and physical sales have been severely impacted, with consumer expenditure on music down compared to pre-pandemic levels. While at the same time digital revenues have grown significantly.
Optimism ahead of Budget 2023-24
Union Budget 2023-24 is an important and challenging one for the government. The Covid-19 pandemic has waned which has devastated people’s lives, livelihoods and the nation’s economy for the last about two years. India's music industry was no different with stage events, live concerts and DJ performances being the most affected.
The sum for the Annual Budget 2022-23 of the Ministry of Culture is Rs 3009.05 Crore as against the revised sum of Rs 2665 Crore for Budget Plan 2021-2022. This proves that the annual allowance in FY 2022-23 is 13% higher than in FY 2021-22. But is this outlay enough? Does this not put a restriction on the freedom of artistic creativity?
DJ Aryan aka Aryan Patel who is passionate about music opined, "In my opinion, we need to witness a drastic recognition of Arts and Culture along with a significant allocation in the upcoming budget. This will not only enable freedom of creative expression but will also support sustainable growth for artists."
India is a signatory to the 1980 UNESCO Recommendation which recognises the right of artists “to benefit from all the legal, social and economic advantages pertaining to the status of workers”. "The 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist promotes important initiatives to improve the social and economic condition for artists, including various benefits to promote sustainable growth for artists," Aryan noted.
Aryan's musical journey started in 2012 as an assistant DJ in Mumbai which helped him understand the nitty-gritty of DJ’ing and the music industry, and ever since he has come a long way in constantly re-inventing his music and exploring new genres and styles in his music.
Digital transformation of the music industry
India's music industry was the first to be massively affected by digitization in a post Covid world. The maximum impact was on the artists performing live shows. Nobody had any clue how long would it take - weeks, months or may be years. The music digitization emerged as a big disruptor and totally changed the dynamics.
Aryan said, "The digital age has changed everything about the music experience. We as DJs used to carry about 1000 CDs; with each CD entailing about 10 to 12 songs. Look at us now! Carrying the world in our pockets, carrying all our music in a single pen drive or a hard drive. Additionally, it’s been supremely beneficial for artists as they are now presented with various platforms to showcase their talent to a global audience, easily." He is soon releasing his Debut Electronic Dance single ‘Safe And Sound’. The message of the song revolves around the meaning of love.
Just like the other sectors, the pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of the artists. However, after several months, when people realised that COVID was here to stay, many people, especially the artists started to explore alternatives. Many went live online, streaming platforms came handy and much more.
"Honestly, I don’t think I would’ve ever released my original work if I didn’t go through the COVID era. It worked for me in a significant way to understand the power of trying and never giving up," added DJ Aryan. In his upcoming music, Aryan is exploring genres, moving out of his comfort zone, and creating tracks that are sensationally new and unheard.
The UK, Germany, Singapore, and Australia, in contrast, have acknowledged the effect Covid-19 has had on their creative economies and offered assistance. Can India walk on a similar path?
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