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India moves up the global music-rights collections rankings

Indian royalty collection society the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) banked Rs172.6 crore (around $23.2m) in the financial year ended March 2020.

This was good enough to place India at number 32 in the global rankings for music rights collections, according to umbrella body CISAC. That might not seem like a high ranking, but it’s a rise of fourteen spots from the 2019 report.

The 2020 figures were boosted thanks to past settlements from TV and radio users as well as deals struck with Facebook and audio-streaming service Hungama Music, the CISAC report states.

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10 things we learned about India’s music industry at All About Music 2021

The fifth edition of annual Indian conference All About Music that took place during the last week of September was, unsurprisingly, its second virtual instalment. It was also its biggest with over 240 speakers delivering keynotes, masterclasses and presentations, participating in conversations and panel discussions or conducting workshops.

With the film industry remaining on pause for much of 2021, the focus this time was on “regional, independent and non-film music”, the uptick in the uptake of which helped the industry tide through another difficult 12 months.

Unlike previous years when they were clubbed together in a single panel, there were separate sessions that put the spotlight on the workings of 14 Indian regional-language music industries. Here’s what we learned after attending almost all of what was on offer. (Disclaimer: This writer moderated a panel discussion at the event.)

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Sony Music India launches new sub-label for ‘new-age pop’

Sony Music India has launched a “genre and language-agnostic” sub-label called Day One, whose “sonic identity is new-age pop” according to MD Rajat Kakar, speaking at its online launch event last week.

The label’s first signings are singer-songwriter Tanmaya Bhatnagar, electronic music producer-composer Pina Colada Blues aka Kevin Shaji, and vocalist, lyricist and multi-instrumentalist Kasyap. That makes it Sony’s most recent foray into India’s independent music scene, the size and audience of which has been consistently growing over the last five years.

One reason few Indian indie acts have signed to major labels are the lopsided contracts on offer, in which they give up most of their rights for lump-sum advances. Sony Music declined to elaborate on the structure of Day One’s deals, so the jury is out on how far it will carry out its aim to “define a new music culture”.