22 stats to help you understand India’s music industry in 2022


It’s that time of the year again! When Music Ally’s regular listicles writer needs a break, so gets a proper expert in for a day. Today’s instalment in our December series of 2022 roundup posts comes from journalist Amit Gurbaxani, Read on for his analysis of the key numbers from India’s music industry this year…

Facts and figures about India’s music industry are hard to come by, and in the few occasions they’re shared, the numbers are most often self-proclaimed and unverified. The annual All About Music conference in Mumbai is a rare chance to get some data points straight from industry execs’ mouths, even if they rarely cite sources.

Keeping in place that disclaimer of sorts (plus another: I moderated a panel), here are 20 up-to-date statistics about the Indian music industry – plus two about its podcasting scene – heard at the 2022 edition of the conference.

01: Rs3 crore to Rs5 crore (approximately $363k to $605k)

The cost of a Bollywood (aka Hindi film) song, according to Vikram Mehra, the managing director of Indian legacy label Saregama and the current chairman of trade body the Indian Music Industry (IMI), which represents the interests of over 200 of the country’s record labels.

02: Rs30 crore (approximately $3.6m)

Indian label Times Music’s COO Mandar Thakur on the approximate cost of acquiring the rights to a Bollywood soundtrack album from a film production house.

03: Rs2 crore to Rs3 crore (approximately $242k to $363k)

The upper end of the cost of a “non-Bollywood, independent” song, as per Saregama’s Mehra. The terms “independent” and “non-film” are often used by Indian major labels to denote commercially-oriented releases outside of a film, typically pop and hip-hop tracks in Hindi and Punjabi as well as other Indian regional languages.

04: 2.7 million

The number of units sold to date of Carvaan, Saregama’s digital audio player that has proved immensely popular among listeners of retro Bollywood music. Mehra’s figure was an update to the stat he shared in August 2019 when Saregama had shifted 1.5 million Carvaans since launching them in 2017.

05: 14 million

The number of people working in India’s “informal music industry”, said Mehra citing an August 2022 report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), titled The Untold Potential of India’s Informal Music Industry. The ICRIER study counts brass bands (which perform for Indian weddings), DJs, folk musicians, sound engineers, music instrument makers and merchandise manufacturers as those that belong to the informal sector.

06: 75 million

The number of monthly active users (MAUs) on Wynk Music, the audio-streaming service run by Indian telecom Bharti Airtel, said Adarsh Nair, the CEO of Airtel Digital.

07: 25 million

The number of MAUs using Hello Tunes, Wynk Music’s ringback music or caller tunes service, as shared by Nair.

08: Rs150 crore (approximately $18.1m)

The estimated amount India’s music industry makes from licensing tracks for live events, a figure shared by Samit Garg, the current president of the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), an organisation comprising companies, institutions and professionals operating in India’s events and experiential marketing industry. In comparison, Garg said, the size of the country’s live events business, including government and corporate events, conferences, exhibitions and sports matches but excluding weddings, is Rs250,000 crore (approximately $30 billion).

09: 30%

The percentage of revenue a music festival in India earns from ticket sales, said V. G. Jairam, the founder of Hyperlink Brand Solutions, which organises the Mahindra Blues Festival, Mahindra Open Drive and Mahindra Independence Rock. The rest of the income, he said, comes from sponsorships.

10: Rs300 crore (approximately $36.7m)

The income earned by royalty collection society the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) for the financial year 2021-22, said IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam. He was rounding the actual figure of Rs313.8 crore, out of which Rs210.05 crore (approximately $25 million) was distributed as royalties, the highest amount in the IPRS’ history.

11: 25,000

The number of shops, establishments and events that have been licensed by the IPRS, shared Nigam who added that India has “probably more than a million shops and a similar amount of events happening” with a potential to generate over Rs1,000 crore (approximately $120 million) in royalties.

12: 1

The number of major Indian audio-streaming services licensing rights from IPRS, said Nigam. That’s Hungama Music. All the other big players, namely Gaana, JioSaavn and Wynk Music, have been “in talks” with them for three to four years but have yet to sign a deal.

13: 50%

The proportion of the marketing budget for a song that labels in India allocate for promotions on short form video platforms, said Shilpa Bhatia, the head of marketing for domestic content at Warner Music Group, India and SAARC.

14: 2 billion

The number of plays the Bollywood song “Kesariya”, from the film Brahmastra, had on short form video app Moj until mid-September, declared Simran Gaglani, the national head of brand solutions at its parent company, social media platform ShareChat. Moj claims to have 160 million MAUs.

15: 18 billion

The number of plays “The Bullet Song”, from the film The Warrior, released in both the Tamil and Telugu languages, had on Moj until mid-September. Though The Warrior was a flop, this past year has seen movies in south Indian languages fare better at the Indian box-office than Bollywood releases.

16: #1

The position of Spotify among audio-streaming services in India, “based on engagement”, said Rahul Balyan, its head of music in India. Balyan did not specify how they define engagement but added that the Swedish platform is streamed in over 7,500 cities and towns across the country.

17: #1

The position of Wynk Music among audio-streaming services in India “in terms of engagement” in 2021, said Edwin Albert, its head of content. Albert used the term ‘engagement’ synonymously with “number of streams” but did not share a specific figure.

18: 30-40%

The proportion of music listened to on Wynk Music that’s released by independent artists.

19: 5

The number of “local releases” to reach Spotify’s all-genre Global Top Songs chart this year, said Rahul Balyan, the head of music at the platform in India. Though he didn’t name them, these are: the aforementioned “Kesariya”; three Punjabi-language hits, “Excuses” by A. P. Dhillon, Gurinder Gill and Intense and “295” and “The Last Ride” by Sidhu Moose Wala; and “Srivalli” by Devi Sri Prasad and Sid Sriram, which is from the soundtrack to the Telugu-language blockbuster Pushpa: The Rise.

Since Balyan’s presentation in September, two more smashes have reached the chart, “Manike” by Yohani, Jubin Nautiyal and Tanishk Bagchi from the Hindi film Thank God and “Maan Meri Jaan” by singer-rapper King. (Bonus stat: Earlier this month, “Maan Meri Jaan” broke the record for the highest daily streams on Spotify in India with 1,825,269 plays, out-tallying “Kesariya”, which totalled 1,820,638 on a day in July.)

20: One tenth

The current revenue per stream earned from YouTube in India, as a proportion of the same figure for 2018, said Gaurav Wadhwa, the co-founder and CEO of Indian independent music company Big Bang Music.

21: 12 to 15 minutes

The ideal duration for a podcast in India, according to Gautam Raj Anand, the founder and CEO of Indian podcasting platform Hubhopper.

22: 5 to 6 minutes

The average amount of time Wynk Music users listen to podcasts, as per Edwin Albert, the head of content at the audio-streaming service.

While you’re here…

– January’s NY:LON Connect conference we co-run with Music Biz has sold out of in-person tickets, but virtual tickets are still available. Check the lineup here!

– The Knowledge is Music Ally’s free weekly newsletter, arriving in your inbox every Friday with news, analysis and marketing tips. Sign up for it here!

– In October we launched a series of five courses to help labels, managers and artists make the most of Amazon Music. The free courses each last 30-45 minutes. Find them here!

Written by: Amit Gurbaxani