Here Is All That You Need To Know About Music Licenses In India

Sarah Iqbal, Amisha Shukla


The terminology music license in India refers to the licensed use of copyrighted music. Music license in India is intended to ensure that the owners of copyrighted music get fairly compensated whenever and wherever their music is used. The rights of using copyrighted music by anyone other than the license holder are governed by an agreement and are usually under certain limitations. 

The two statutory bodies, IPRS (Indian Performing Rights Societies) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited), are exclusively responsible for providing music licenses in India under different domains. On obtaining a music license in India from one of the two bodies, your work gets entitled to a right in rem, i.e. right against the whole world. In addition, the body holds a right to collect your share of the licensed music directly from the broadcasters, streaming services, public performances, etc., to ensure that the license holder is pretty reimbursed for the work.

So, if you are an aspiring artist willing to obtain a music license in India, then you are at the place! At Melo music distribution, we bring you detailed and compiled information from music experts about all you need to know regarding music licensing in India. 

Types of music license in India

There are broadly five categories of music licenses in India provided for using music work for varied purposes. They are as follows:

  • Music License in India for public performances. It includes all public performances in theaters, cinemas, hotels, lodges, resorts, guest houses, shopping centers, cafes, IT, parks, arcades, clubs, vacation homes, places, spas, resorts, places of boarding and lodging, pubs, night clubs, amusement parks, shopping centers, dining rooms, lounges, bars, coffee houses, banquet halls, auditoriums, sports complexes, service-oriented premises etc. It also includes community radio broadcasts as well as television broadcasts etc. 

  • Music license in India for streaming on OTT platforms and through physical mode: This category of music licensing includes broadcasting of interactive music broadcasting services, karaoke services, and the broadcasting of non-interactive music anywhere on the world wide web. Other than this, the said category of music license in India also covers electronic digital media downloading, rental, distribution and sale of physical media, use of motion pictures etc. 

  • Music license in India for CRBT or Caller Ring Back Tone: This category covers music work for caller tunes through various caller tune distribution platforms in India. 

  • Music license in India for commercial purposes: This category of music license in India includes music work for all commercial purposes. For example, the music used in advertising, videos and audios for all promotional purposes. 

  • Music license in India for live performances: Lastly, this category includes the music work used for live performances by varied artists during concerts and all other live performances. 

Benefits of obtaining a music license in India 

It is a prevalent notion in the music industry that obtaining a music license in India is very important for every artist to protect their work from being used by unauthorized persons and get fairly remunerated whenever and wherever their music is used. However, did you know that these aren't the only benefits a license holder enjoys? Here, we at Melo Music Distribution bring to light other benefits of obtaining a music license in India. 

  • First and foremost, on obtaining a music license in India, the artist enjoys the right to broadcast their music and perform at public events. 

  • Secondly, it not just increases the popularity of the licensed song but also of the artist.

  • Thirdly, licensed music in India can be streamed on various music streaming platforms and downloaded and subscribed to in the artist's name. 

  • Fourthly, a Music license in India protects the artist's creation from filching and misappropriation of their music content. 

  • Lastly and most importantly, a music license in India helps performers and artists to showcase their talent to the world through all possible mediums and build a name in the music industry. 

Your step by step guide on how to obtain a music license in India

In the past, obtaining a music license in India was considered a lengthy, tiring and cumbersome task. Still, with specific bodies for music licensing like PPL and IPRS, it has become an effortless task. So, here we enlist a few simple steps to obtain a music license in India quickly.  

  • When you wish to obtain a music license in India for your creative work, the first and foremost thing is to understand the different music licenses offered by PPL and IPRS and then decide upon which category of license you wish to obtain.

  • After deciding upon the category of music license that you wish to obtain, the next step is to proceed to the concerned body for providing music license in India, i.e. PPL and IPR and register on their website by filling in basic details like name, address, contact number, email address, GST, PAN details etc.

  • Upon receiving your application request, the concerned body will verify your details and ask you to furnish other relevant documents/ details. This is more likely to happen in live events as the body may require additional information regarding the venue, expected footfall etc.

  • Lastly, once your application gets verified by the concerned body, you will be asked to agree to their terms and conditions and will have to pay the required fee. 

  • Upon completing the fee payment, the concerned body will issue an Introduction letter stating that the applicant has been successfully registered in their database. 

Royalty-free music license agreement 

A royalty-free music license agreement is an agreement between the owner of the music content and the one who wishes to use that music content for video or music production purposes. The royalty-free music license agreement grants limited rights to use the music upon a person other than the copyright holder of that music.

The terms and conditions of a royalty-free music license agreement may vary from one another. However, a royalty-free music agreement usually forbids resale, sublicensing, further distribution or modification of the music content.

Have a query or wish to know more about music license in India or royalty-free music license agreement. Get in touch with music experts at Melo music distribution today!