Indian Music Industry

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, Sony Music Entertainment (India), Virgin Records, Magnasound, 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.

Indian Music Industry
Founded28 February 1936
Key people
Blaise Fernandes, President & CEO

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.

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.


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]

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:

  • Sales of all types of carriers, whether vinyl records, audio cassettes, compact discs, MP3 compact discs, music videos (i.e. excluding home videos) or any other existing or future type of carrier is considered on the basis of one unit.
  • If a sound recording contains a combination of two program, any program over half of its total duration can be weighted at 50%, of the sales of the sound recording of that program. Any program comprising less than half of the total duration of the sound recording will not be counted for the purpose of certification.
  • Sales in domestic markets only will be considered for the calculation of sales of sound recording.
  • The time-limit for achieving above sales in any category is one year from the release of the recording in India.
  • Applications should be accompanied by a copy certified by the member’s chartered accountant stating the date of release & the number of units sold, along with a letter from the managing director or CEO.


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

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
GoldPlatinum GoldPlatinum
Hindi films120,000240,00075,000150,000
Regional films60,000120,00040,00080,000

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 downloadN/A1
Physical album saleN/A1
CRBT (caller ring-back tones) (30 days)220
Track streams1001,000
Video streams3003,000


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 Films200,000400,000
Regional Films50,000100,000
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 Films500,0001,000,000
Regional Films100,000200,000
Regional Basic60,000120,000
National Basic100,000200,000
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

Best-selling albums

Top ten

Rank Year Album Music director(s) Lyricist(s) Singer(s) Sales Source(s)
11983Young TarangZoheb Hassan, BidduNazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Sehba Akhtar, Amit KhannaNazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan40,000,000[26][27]
2 1990AashiquiNadeem–ShravanSameer, Madan Pal, Rani MalikKumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan, Nitin Mukesh20,000,000[28][29]
1995 Bolo Ta Ra Ra..Jawahar WattalDaler MehndiDaler Mehndi20,000,000[30][31]
Dilwale Dulhania Le JayengeJatin–LalitAnand BakshiLata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Abhijeet, Manpreet Kaur, Pamela Chopra20,000,000[32][33]
51995Billo De GharAbrar-ul-HaqAbrar-ul-HaqAbrar-ul-Haq16,000,000[34][35]
61995BombayA. R. RahmanVairamuthu, Mehboob, Veturi Sundararama MurthyA. R. Rahman, Remo Fernandes, Suresh Peters, Swarnalatha, K. S. Chithra, Hariharan, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan, Annupamaa15,000,000[36]
71981Disco DeewaneZoheb Hassan, BidduNazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Anwar Khalid, Faruq QaiserNazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan14,000,000[37]
81997Dil Toh Pagal HaiUttam SinghAnand BakshiLata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Hariharan12,500,000[38]
91994Hum Aapke Hain KaunRaamlaxmanRavinder Rawal, Dev KohliLata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, S. P. Balasubramanyam, Udit Narayan, Sharda Sinha, Shailendra Singh12,000,000[39]
101996Raja HindustaniNadeem–ShravanSameerKumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik, Suresh Wadkar, Sapna Awasthi, Alisha Chinai, Sapna Mukheree, Bela Salukhe11,000,000[38]

By decade

Decade Year Album Music director(s) Lyricist(s) Singer(s) Sales Source(s)
1930s1939AadmiMaster KrishnaraoMunsi AzizShanta Hublikar, Ram Marathe, Sundara Bai, Shahu Modhak
1940s1949BarsaatShankar JaikishanHasrat Jaipuri, Shailendra, Ramesh Shashtri, Akhilesh, Jalal MalahabadiLata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh
1950s1951AwaaraShankar JaikishanShailendra, Hasrat JaipuriShamshad Begum, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Manna Dey, Mohammed Rafi[40]
1960s1964Sangam Shankar JaikishanShailendra, Hasrat JaipuriVyjayanthimala, Mukesh, Lata Mangeshkar, Mahendra Kapoor, Mohammed Rafi[41]
1970s 1973BobbyLaxmikant–PyarelalAnand Bakshi, Vitthalbhai PatelLata Mangeshkar, Narendra Chanchal, Shailendra Singh, Manna Dey1,000,000[42][43][21]
1975SholayR. D. BurmanAnand Bakshi, Salim-JavedKishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, Hema Malini, R. D. Burman1,000,000[43][21]
1980s1983Young TarangZoheb Hassan, BidduNazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan, Sehba Akhtar, Amit KhannaNazia Hassan, Zoheb Hassan40,000,000[27][26]
1990s 1990AashiquiNadeem–ShravanSameer, Madan Pal, Rani MalikKumar Sanu, Anuradha Paudwal, Udit Narayan, Nitin Mukesh20,000,000[28][29]
1995 Bolo Ta Ra Ra..Jawahar WattalDaler MehndiDaler Mehndi20,000,000[30][38]
Dilwale Dulhania Le JayengeJatin–LalitAnand BakshiLata Mangeshkar, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan, Asha Bhosle, Abhijeet, Manpreet Kaur, Pamela Chopra20,000,000[32][33]
2000s2000MohabbateinJatin–LalitAnand BakshiLata Mangeshkar, Udit Narayan, Shweta Pandit, Sonali Bhatawdekar, Ishaan5,000,000[44]
2010s2010Komaram PuliA. R. RahmanChandraboseA. R. Rahman, Vijay Prakash, Tanvi Shah, Shweta Mohan, Javed Ali, Shreya Ghoshal760,000[45]


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