Indian Music Industry

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Indian Music Industry
Indian Music Industry (logo).gif
Founded28 February 1936
Key people
Blaise Fernandes, President & CEO

The Indian Music Industry (IMI) is a trust that represents the recording industry distributors in India. It was founded on February 28, 1936 as Indian Phonographic Industry (IPI). It is the 2nd oldest music industry organization in the world that was involved in protecting copyrights of music producers and supporting growth of music entertainment industry. In 1994, it was renamed as Indian Music Industry (IMI) and represented India at the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). It is also registered with the West Bengal Societies Registration Act. All major music labels in India are part of this association. Record companies like Saregama India Ltd. (HMV), Universal Music (India), Tips Industries Limited, Venus, Sony Music Entertainment (India), Crescendo, Virgin Records, Magnasound, Milestone, Times Music and several other prominent national and regional labels are part of the IMI. The IMI represents over 75% of all legal music sales in India.

India Country in South Asia

India, official name, the Republic of India,, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives; its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

Music industry companies and individuals that create and sell music and make money off of sales

The music industry consists of the companies and individuals that earn money by creating new songs and pieces and selling live concerts and shows, audio and video recordings, compositions and sheet music, and the organizations and associations that aid and represent music creators. Among the many individuals and organizations that operate in the industry are: the songwriters and composers who create new songs and musical pieces; the singers, musicians, conductors and bandleaders who perform the music; the companies and professionals who create and sell recorded music and/or sheet music ; and those that help organize and present live music performances.

Copyright is the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the creator of a literary or artistic work, to reproduce the work, usually for a limited time. This right is not absolute but subject to limitations such as fair use. Copyright only protects only the original expression of ideas, and not the underlying ideas themselves.


IMI has its registered office in Kolkata and Administrative office in Mumbai. It also has offices in New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and other major Indian cities working on the protection of rights of music producers and preventing music piracy. It has also been instrumental in launching the IMMIES music awards in collaboration with MTV.

Kolkata Capital city of West Bengal, India

Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Located on the east bank of the Hooghly River approximately 80 kilometres (50 mi) west of the border with Bangladesh, it is the principal commercial, cultural, and educational centre of East India, while the Port of Kolkata is India's oldest operating port and its sole major riverine port. The city is widely regarded as the "cultural capital" of India, and is also nicknamed the "City of Joy". According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the seventh most populous city; the city had a population of 4.5 million, while the suburb population brought the total to 14.1 million, making it the third-most populous metropolitan area in India. Recent estimates of Kolkata Metropolitan Area's economy have ranged from $60 to $150 billion making it third most-productive metropolitan area in India, after Mumbai and Delhi.

Mumbai Megacity and state capital in Maharashtra, India

Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. As of 2011 it is the most populous city in India with an estimated city proper population of 12.4 million. The larger Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the second-most-populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million as of 2016. Mumbai lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbour. In 2008, Mumbai was named an alpha world city. It is also the wealthiest city in India, and has the highest number of millionaires and billionaires among all cities in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city's distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings.

New Delhi Capital City / District in Delhi, India

New Delhi is an urban district of Delhi which serves as the capital of India and seat of all three branches of the Government of India.

The Indian music industry is largely dominated by Indian film soundtracks, which account for nearly 80% of the country's music revenue, followed by Indi-pop. [1] As of 2014, the largest Indian music record label is T-Series with up to 35% share of the Indian market, followed by Sony Music India (the largest foreign-owned label) with up to 25% share, and then Zee Music (which has a partnership with Sony). [2] As of 2017, 216 million Indians use music streaming services such as YouTube, Hungama, Gaana and Saavn. [3] T-Series has the world's most-subscribed and most-viewed YouTube channel.

A record label, or record company, is a brand or trademark associated with the marketing of music recordings and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages such brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution, marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos, while also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists, and maintaining contracts with recording artists and their managers. The term "record label" derives from the circular label in the center of a vinyl record which prominently displays the manufacturer's name, along with other information. Within the mainstream music industry, recording artists have traditionally been reliant upon record labels to broaden their consumer base, market their albums, and be both promoted and heard on music streaming services, radio, and television. Record labels also provide publicists, who assist performers in gaining positive media coverage, and arrange for their merchandise to be available via stores and other media outlets.

T-Series (company) Indian music record label and film production company

Super Cassettes Industries Private Limited, doing business as T-Series, is a music record label and film production company in India founded by Gulshan Kumar in 1983. It is primarily known for Bollywood music soundtracks and Indi-pop music. As of 2014, T-Series is India's largest music record label, with up to a 35% share of the Indian music market, followed by Sony Music India and Zee Music. T-Series also owns and operates the most-viewed and most-subscribed channel on YouTube, with over 105 million subscribers and 76 billion views as of July 2019. While best known as a music label, T-Series has also had some moderate success as a film production company.

Sony Music India Indian record label

Sony Music Entertainment India is the predominant record label operated by Sony in India. The company began operation in 1997, and it was the first record company in India to be 100% foreign-owned, with Sony being a Japanese corporation. Since December 2013, the company distributes Warner Music Group releases for Indian and SAARC market. Sony Music India is the largest foreign-owned music label in India, and the country's second largest record label overall with up to 25% share of the Indian music market, after the local Indian label T-Series, and ahead of Zee Music which Sony has a partnership with.


The industry was dominated by cassette tapes in the 1980s and 1990s. [1] In 1990, India had annual cassette sales of 180 million units, including both legitimate and pirate sales. This made it the world's second largest cassette market, after the United States. [4] By 1998, the industry had annual earnings of ₹12 billion [5] ($291 million). [6]

In the early 2000s, 49 million cassettes (including 16 million pirate tapes) were sold every month. [7] Later in the 2000s, the industry transitioned to online streaming, bypassing CD and digital downloads. [1]

Digital distribution is the delivery or distribution of digital media content such as audio, video, software and video games. The term is generally used to describe distribution over an online delivery medium, such as the Internet, thus bypassing physical distribution methods, such as paper, optical discs, and VHS videocassettes. The term online distribution is typically applied to freestanding products; downloadable add-ons for other products are more commonly known as downloadable content. With the advancement of network bandwidth capabilities, online distribution became prominent in the 21st century, with prominent platforms such as Amazon Video, and Netflix's streaming service starting in 2007.

Criteria of certification levels

The Indian Music Industry has constituted different, prestigious awards to encourage and promote music. The approved scheme of gold/platinum disc standards effective for sound recordings of member companies released in one calendar year is as below:


Indian Music Industry does not maintain official music charts. Since 2010, newspaper The Times of India and radio channel Radio Mirchi, both owned by the Times Group, have maintained charts of various songs by category. For the album charts the industry considers the sales according to iTunes. For individual songs, there are various other charts such as provided by Saavn and Nokia MixRadio

<i>The Times of India</i> Indian English-language daily newspaper

The Times of India (TOI) is an Indian English-language daily newspaper owned by The Times Group. It is the third-largest newspaper in India by circulation and largest selling English-language daily in the world according to Audit Bureau of Circulations (India). It is the oldest English-language newspaper in India still in circulation, albeit under different names since its first edition published in 1838. It is also the second-oldest Indian newspaper still in circulation after the Bombay Samachar.

Radio Mirchi Network of FM radio stations

Radio Mirchi is a nationwide network of private FM radio stations in India. It is owned by the EntertainmentNetwork India Ltd (ENIL), which is one of the subsidiaries of The Times Group. mirchi is Hindi for Red Chilli. The tagline of Radio Mirchi is "Mirchi Sunnewaale Always Khush!".

iTunes media player and library software

iTunes is a media player, media library, Internet radio broadcaster, and mobile device management application developed by Apple Inc. It was announced on January 9, 2001. It is used to play, download, and organize digital multimedia files, including music and video, on personal computers running the macOS and Windows operating systems. Content must be purchased through the iTunes Store, whereas iTunes is the software letting users manage their purchases.

Major Indian charts

Chart NameTypeNumber of songs/albumsCategoryref
"iTunes charts"Albums100International [8]
"Mirchi Top 20"songs20Bollywood [9]
"Angrezi Top 20"songs20International [10]
"Tamil Top 20"songs20Regional [11]
"Kannada Top 20"songs20Regional [12]
"Telugu Top 20"songs20Regional [13]
"Malayalam Top 20"songs20Regional [14]
"Bengali Top 20"songs20Regional [15]

Certification levels

India has separate scales for music recording certifications. Certifications are usually based on sales, like some other Asian countries. Like many other Asian countries, domestic repertoire accounts for the majority of the Indian music market. Like many other countries, sales requirements of music recording in India reduced due to music piracy, declining sales, and the rise of online streaming.


The following are the current certification levels, as of 2019. [16]

Release type Singles Albums
Hindi films 120,000240,00075,000150,000
Regional films 60,000120,00040,00080,000
Pop/Basic 60,000120,00015,00030,000
Devotional 50,000100,00010,00020,000
Classical/Folk 10,00020,0005,00010,000

Single and album units are measured in terms of Track Equivalent (TE) and Album Equivalent (AE) units, respectively, which are equivalent to the following media units. [16]

Media unit(s)Track Equivalent (TE)Album Equivalent (AE)
Digital track download(s) 110
Digital album download N/A1
Physical album sale N/A1
CRBT (caller ring-back tones) (30 days[ clarification needed ])220
Track streams 1001,000
Video streams 3003,000


Prior to the inclusion of music streaming in IMI certifications, the following certification levels were in use between 2007 [17] and 2013. [18]

Between 2007 and 2013
Release typeGoldPlatinum
Hindi Films 200,000400,000
Regional Films 50,000100,000
Regional Basic25,00050,000
National Basic50,000100,000

The following certification levels were in use between 2000 [19] and 2007. [20]

Between 2000 and 2007
Release typeGoldPlatinum
Hindi Films 500,0001,000,000
Regional Films 100,000200,000
Regional Basic60,000120,000
National Basic 100,000200,000
Classical/Semi-Classical 20,00040,000
International (2006–2007)10,00020,000
International (2000–2006)20,00040,000

The following certification levels were in use up until 2000.

Up until 2000
Release typeGoldPlatinum
Hindi films [21] 500,0001,000,000
Indi-pop 120,000 [22] 200,000 [23] [24]
Foreign [25] 30,00060,000

Best-selling albums

Top ten

RankYearAlbumMusic director(s)Lyricist(s)Singer(s)SalesSource(s)
11983 Young Tarang Zoheb Hassan, Biddu Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Sehba Akhtar, Amit Khanna Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan 40,000,000 [26] [27]
21990 Aashiqui Nadeem–Shravan Sameer, Madan Pal, Rani Malik Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan, Nitin Mukesh 20,000,000 [28] [29]
1995 Bolo Ta Ra Ra.. Jawahar Wattal Daler Mehndi Daler Mehndi 20,000,000 [30] [31]
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Jatin–Lalit Anand Bakshi Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Abhijeet, Manpreet Kaur, Pamela Chopra20,000,000 [32] [33]
51995 Billo De Ghar Abrar-ul-Haq Abrar-ul-Haq Abrar-ul-Haq 16,000,000 [34] [35]
61995 Bombay A. R. Rahman Vairamuthu, Mehboob, Veturi Sundararama Murthy A. R. Rahman, Remo Fernandes, Suresh Peters, Swarnalatha, K. S. Chithra, Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan, Annupamaa 15,000,000 [36]
71981 Disco Deewane Zoheb Hassan, Biddu Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Anwar Khalid, Faruq Qaiser Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan 14,000,000 [37]
81997 Dil Toh Pagal Hai Uttam Singh Anand Bakshi Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Hariharan 12,500,000 [38]
91994 Hum Aapke Hain Kaun Raamlaxman Ravinder Rawal, Dev Kohli Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, S. P. Balasubramanyam, Udit Narayan, Sharda Sinha, Shailendra Singh12,000,000 [39]
101996 Raja Hindustani Nadeem–Shravan Sameer Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar, Sapna Awasthi, Alisha Chinai, Sapna Mukheree, Bela Salukhe11,000,000 [38]

By decade

DecadeYearAlbumMusic director(s)Lyricist(s)Singer(s)SalesSource(s)
1930s1939 Aadmi Master Krishnarao Munsi AzizShanta Hublikar, Ram Marathe, Sundara Bai, Shahu Modhak[ citation needed ]
1940s1949 Barsaat Shankar Jaikishan Hasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, Ramesh Shashtri, Akhilesh, Jalal Malahabadi Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh [ citation needed ]
1950s1951 Awaara Shankar Jaikishan Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri Shamshad Begum, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi [40]
1960s1964 Sangam Shankar Jaikishan Shailendra, Hasrat Jaipuri Vyjayanthimala, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Mahendra Kapoor, Mohammed Rafi [41]
1970s1973 Bobby Laxmikant–Pyarelal Anand Bakshi, Vitthalbhai Patel Lata Mangeshkar, Narendra Chanchal, Shailendra Singh, Manna Dey 1,000,000 [42] [43] [21]
1975 Sholay R. D. Burman Anand Bakshi, Salim-Javed Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Hema Malini, R. D. Burman 1,000,000 [43] [21]
1980s1983 Young Tarang Zoheb Hassan, Biddu Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Sehba Akhtar, Amit Khanna Nazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan 40,000,000 [27] [26]
1990s1990 Aashiqui Nadeem–Shravan Sameer, Madan Pal, Rani Malik Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan, Nitin Mukesh 20,000,000 [28] [29]
1995 Bolo Ta Ra Ra.. Jawahar Wattal Daler Mehndi Daler Mehndi 20,000,000 [30] [38]
Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge Jatin–Lalit Anand Bakshi Lata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Abhijeet, Manpreet Kaur, Pamela Chopra20,000,000 [32] [33]
2000s2000 Mohabbatein Jatin–Lalit Anand Bakshi Lata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Shweta Pandit, Sonali Bhatawdekar, Ishaan5,000,000 [44]
2010s2010 Komaram Puli A. R. Rahman Chandrabose A. R. Rahman, Vijay Prakash, Tanvi Shah, Shweta Mohan, Javed Ali, Shreya Ghoshal 760,000 [45]

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Anirudh Ravichander Indian musician

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