Essential 2021 Trends in the Indian Music Market


Music is an integral part of Indian culture. The Indian music industry can largely be categorised into Classical, Folk, Independent, Devotional and Bollywood, where Bollywood makes up for 80% of consumption. With more than 800 million internet users, it is a market that is ripe with potential that many international companies have set their eyes upon. However, the game in India is a regional one and capturing the rural audience is what has been the ultimate game changer for companies like TikTok (though currently banned) and YouTube. However, despite having numbers in terms of users, the music industry is ranked 15th globally in terms of market share. With continued growth, industry professionals expect it to enter the top 10 by 2022 (some delay may be expected due to the pandemic).

The Covid-19 pandemic brought with it a drastic (but perhaps positive) change to the Indian music scene. With no live shows and production of Bollywood films put on hold, artists took to performing online and releasing independent music. Consumption on music streaming platforms jumped by almost 40% in 2020. A few months ago, Spotify showed solidarity in its Indian artists when their Indie campaign lit up New York’s Times Square. This was a huge high for the Indian independent artists that were featured and it was well deserved. With the support of DSPs, global campaigns are no longer a far-fetched dream for artists anymore.

The resurgence of Indi-pop, or what is now known as I-Pop, has escalated the need of streamlined processes within all aspects of digitisation in the music industry. This is the age of DIY and Artists have become entrepreneurs. They have taken the reins in terms of distribution and marketing their music, many of them finding success. What comes next is the awareness of how powerful music publishing can be to the system and learning to make money from their copyright not just their recorded music. Music Publishing is only just being recognised and the Indian performance rights society (IPRS) have been more active in the last few months in promoting this agenda. Their recent partnership with T-Series is a big win for everyone.

A few trends to look out for in 2022 that will increase the importance of music publishing and unlock the true potential of the copyrights held by songwriters.

  • A shift from ad-based to paid content; and a slow but steady growth in royalties that will come with it.
  • The rise in online performances / virtual concerts; many new platforms have already cropped up off the back of the pandemic and will continue to make live streaming more user-friendly and accessible.
  • An increase in sync licensing with platforms such as Netflix, Amazon, Zee5, MX Player, SonyLiv etc. churning out web series quite aggressively.
  • Opportunities in collaborations and co-writing; I-Pop has tasted success and more vocalists are keen on joining the bandwagon and releasing original music independently.

If you are a songwriter, looking to know more about music publishing or are looking for ways to monetise your music, do connect with us.