| 15 Jul 2024
IPRS extends wholehearted support to music makers through its "Learn and Earn" initiative

MUMBAI: The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (“IPRS”) has always been concerned with the welfare of its members. Protecting the rights of Composers, Songwriters, and Publishers since 1969 - the year of its inception, the IPRS has stood like a rock for the creator community. To see talented creators, suffer for lack of knowledge about their rights and opportunities is truly disturbing and got them thinking about the corrective measures needed to rectify the situation.

As a responsible Copyright Society, the IPRS was keenly aware of the economic turbulence its members went through during the pandemic. The Society also observed the multitude of doubts and queries its members had, in this rapidly transforming music landscape. Stemming from this concern, a need to launch the initiative to inform, educate and empower its members emerged. Reaching out to its members through this initiative became one of the prime objectives of the IPRS.

Initiating the journey in this direction, IPRS decided to start a series of workshops for its members. The pan-India Workshops are a great eye-opener for IPRS members, benefitting their creative journey and career. The Knowledge Workshop aptly titled "Learn and Earn" took off earlier this year successfully conducting sessions in cities across the country.

With a tradition of live performances and non-film music, the Punjabi music industry has been leading the non-film music sector in India for quite some time now. People all over the country and abroad listen to Punjabi songs, even when many may not fully comprehend the language, as if to endorse the long-held belief that music has no language. Punjab's rich musical heritage includes some of the most amazing musicians in genres like Gurbani Music, Sufi Music, Folk, and Punjabi Pop Music. Punjabi music also includes genre-defying independent artists, who attended the Learn and Earn Workshop in large numbers. The event was made even more notable for the presence of the leading luminaries of the music business, particularly from Chandigarh, comprising leading composers, songwriters, publishers, and all esteemed IPRS members.

The focal point of discussion at the workshop centred around copyright in music, related areas like the importance of music licensing, and the emerging trends and technological advancements in the digital era. It also encapsulated the role of copyright societies like IPRS is playing in protecting creators' rights and their rightful dues in the burgeoning music industry.

Applauding the initiative, legendary singer, songwriter, and actor Gurdas Maanji , said; “As a member of IPRS, I am so happy that IPRS is conducting these knowledge workshops to create awareness among the music creators and artists on copyright, royalties, and technical matters related to music. This will be an added advantage for creators to work in the music industry. I am very glad that IPRS has shouldered such a big responsibility of educating music makers about all that is relevant. My best wishes to all music lovers and creators. Finally, my message to all music users is to take a license for the music they are using.

Commenting on the same Mr. Satvinder Kohli Managing Director at Speed Records, said; “Music has always been an integral part of Punjab’s culture and history. Punjabi Music Industry is India’s biggest non-film music industry and has seen an incredible rise in the past few years because of its music, beats and composition, enjoying popularity across the national borders. The industry has broken free of the traditional business models and is sailing the global waves, with innovation and advancement being vital to every vertical of this industry.

With the remarkable growth, comes the equally significant responsibility of assigning the rightful dues and credits to the music creators and artists from the region. I’m glad IPRS is here to do the same and support the music community. IPRS continues to work as the most competent & transparent Copyright Society and it has been effectively collecting royalties for its members, including royalties from abroad. The past few years have seen a tremendous increase in the distribution of Royalties, and it is due to the society’s dedicated efforts and focus that the Society had increased its revenue even during the adverse COVID times.

As a long-standing member of IPRS, I’m glad to be part of the initiative and the workshop organized for songwriters, composers, and all those associated with music in this Industry. It will help all music creators occupied with their creativity and often unaware of matters like copyrights, royalties, and other technical aspects crucial to getting better returns from their creations.

As the use of Audio platforms, OTTs and consumption of music increases, we are looking at IPRS to continue working collectively to ensure fair value is disbursed among publishers, authors and composers.”

Applauding the initiative Lyricist, Composer, and Producer, Mr. Bunty Bains said, “The music of Punjab is wide and varied. Music creators from multiple genres have contributed to the vast repertoire of Punjabi music for ages. Unfortunately, though, most songwriters and composers are unaware of their rights and the various facets of the music industry beyond creation, instrumental in fuelling their creativity and earnings.

The Learn and Earn campaign launched by IPRS is a great initiative to create awareness about the rights of Creators and Music Publishers. Musicians associated with the Music industry in India are oblivious to the benefits and role of a copyright society and the rights assigned by the Copyright Law. Ignorance is not an excuse anymore. I'm glad that IPRS is organising knowledge workshops for its members to upskill and excel."

Sharing his views, renowned lyricist, screenwriter, filmmaker and IPRS Board Member Mr. Mayur Puri added, “IPRS is the single loudest and most important voice of the music creator community. Today, the music industry is getting more and more decentralization every day and as mandated by our visionary Chairperson Shri Javed Akhtar Saab, it is imperative for all of us at IPRS to step up our diversity and inclusion initiatives. 'Learn and Earn' is a series of full-day, multicity workshops designed to empower our members to not just survive, but thrive in this creator economy. This is the first time an epic endeavour of this scale and such comprehensive content is planned to bring the community together, and we hope to see thousands of music makers benefit from this.”

Addressing the press conference Mr. Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS said, “The Indian music business has been rapidly expanding with Regional music fuelling this rise since its popularity transcends borders setting new benchmarks. With a reservoir of brilliant creators, the Punjabi music industry is a vital participant in this newfound success. While the industry scales new heights, songwriters and composers must be fully aware of their rights and how to gain more from their creations in this new era of music. Hence at IPRS our new initiatives and activities are aimed at upskilling and empowering our members through knowledge and know-how. Our primary goal at IPRS will be to expand opportunities for our members and to lay the way for a vibrant ecosystem that will propel them and the Indian music business to new heights.”

Mr. Nigam further added, “IPRS played a vital role in supporting members through the COVID crisis that brought a sudden end to live shows, concerts, filming, and on-ground events. Thankfully, new income-generating opportunities emerged as digital music consumption went up, helping IPRS grow revenues by +82% to over INR3,000 million (US$40 million) in FY2021-22. Introducing a monthly royalty payment cycle against the earlier quarterly, the IPRS recorded its highest single-year royalty pay-out amounting to Rs.2,100 million (US$28 million), up +15% in 2020. During this challenging time, the IPRS piloted several member welfare initiatives and paid out Rs.97 million (US$1.3 million) as an emergency relief fund, in multiple tranches between April 2020 to March 2022. In addition, IPRS also provided medical aid to ailing members. Considering the ongoing trend, we hope to hold on to the growth spree and end the financial year creating new benchmarks.”