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Despite the increasing popularity of non-film and international music in India, audio streaming services said film music makes up nearly 60% of the top trending songs on their platforms. Music of films such as Brahmastra, Vikram and Beast found wide acceptance in the past few months, while independent singles of artistes such as Armaan Malik and Jubin Nautiyal have done well too.

Other than English, Korean music is a popular language across apps, largely attributed to the fan following the BTS band has gained in India.

“Film music clearly dominates in India across Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. For film music, this year we have seen the biggest ever success for a few of the films’ soundtracks that have set new records as songs," a Spotify spokesperson said, adding that many of these made it to the service’s global charts, including music from Brahmastra, Vikram, and Beast.

Mousumi Mishra, associate director, music partnerships at social media platform ShareChat and short video app Moj said in the last six months, nearly 60% of the top trending audios on Moj have been film music, 35% independent music, and 5% international music. 

“Movie songs like Parande Vich Dil (Punjabi), Ra Ra Rakkamma (Kannada), Sona Kitna Sona Hai (Hindi), Bullet (Telugu), Coka 2.0 (Hindi) and Manike (2.0) have been trending week after week, while independent releases like Gypsy, Laal Ghagra, and Something Something have also been dominating the charts," Mishra said.

A JioSaavn spokesperson said film music has a bigger pie of the total streams on the platform in terms of sheer numbers. “Having said that, with the throughput, the quality and investments, artistes and labels are making in non-film music, the demarcation between the two is fading," the person added.

In the year 2020, due to the pause in film releases, non-film music started to flourish and became mainstream. Listeners too started experimenting with new sounds and artists. “Since then, the gap between the top songs on JioSaavn from films versus non-film music has narrowed. Apart from English music, K-Pop and Latin music work very well with Indian listeners on JioSaavn.

The Spotify spokesperson agreed the platform is seeing rapid growth in music that’s not from films. “Recently some of the biggest Bollywood artistes started exploring music outside of films. Artistes such as Amit Trivedi and Neha Kakkar are exploring the pop music space. In a relatively new trend, music from shows that stream on video-on-demand services has become popular. This has happened owing to the popularity of these shows and stars. For example, the second season of Netflix original Mismatched and Spotify’s new playlist Web Series Hits highlights that music culture.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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