Indian Music Industry Rep Inks ‘Historic’ Deal With Singers Association, Sets Sights On Tackling ‘The Growing Menace of Digital Piracy and Non-Recognition of Copyright’

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A nighttime shot of Powai, Mumbai. Photo Credit: Aniket Bhattacharya

India’s recorded music representative has inked a “historic agreement” with the Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA), and the involved parties say that the pact will help the nation’s music industry to “become a global force.”

Indian Music Industry (IMI) higher-ups just recently detailed their organization’s union with the ISRA via a formal release that was emailed to DMN. The IFPI-affiliated entity’s members include the major labels, Saregama, Tips, and Times Music, whereas the Indian Singers Rights Association bills itself as “the sole copyright society for administering the rights of singers as a category of performers.”

(According to its latest performance analysis, the ISRA posted approximately $250,000 in revenue for the 12 months ending on March 30th of 2022 – or multiple times what the prior year-long stretch delivered.)

Per the IMI and the ISRA, the newly finalized deal was “unanimously welcomed” and extends to “all record labels, singers and musicians on a pan-India basis.” While the organizations’ announcement message is relatively light on concrete details – neither the IMI nor the ISRA looks to have spoken to regional media about the tie-up – the text does emphasize an overarching objective of bolstering India’s music industry.

“On this historic occasion, the music industry seeks the support from the Government of India to tackle the growing menace of digital piracy and non-recognition of copyright,” the ISRA and the IMI spelled out. Of course, the comments arrive after the IFPI and the IMI kicked off 2023 by touting “the first successful blocking action” against stream-ripping websites in the nation of about 1.4 billion residents; the IFPI has likewise cracked down on piracy in a number of other quick-expanding markets.

Meanwhile, IMI president and CEO Blaise Fernandes took the opportunity to drive home his ambitious vision for India’s recorded music sector, in which Universal Music, Warner Music, and Sony Music alike are making significant investments.

“The historic accord will be the growth engine for the Indian Music industry to propel itself to the top 10 markets in the world,” communicated the longtime Warner Bros. exec Fernandes. “When all stakeholders in the music ecosystem work together, a melody happens and this has been the case globally.”

In September of last year, Tencent-backed Indian streaming service Gaana did away with its ad-supported tier as reports of operational and financial difficulties circulated. Amid stiff competition from regional players including Gaana and JioSaavn, which are inherently well positioned to meet the market’s demands and spearhead relevant promotional initiatives, the likes of Spotify and Apple Music have had a generally difficult time establishing a foothold in India.