After Long Delay, India Launches International Singles Chart

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The inaugural top 20 is crowned by BTS’ "Butter" and Dua Lipa’s "Levitating."

MUMBAI — Nearly three years after its scheduled launch date, India finally has an official music chart.

Trade body the Indian Music Industry (IMI), which represents over 200 record labels operating in the country, unveiled the Top 20 International Singles Chart on Monday. The survey, compiled by Barcelona-based music monitoring company BMAT, is based on plays of all non-Indian language tracks from three international audio-streaming services -- Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music and Spotify -- and will be published every Monday.

Global pop hits dominated the inaugural chart, with BTS’s “Butter” topping the list, followed by Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” (No. 2), Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” (No. 3), Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar and Giveon’s “Peaches” (No. 4) and Olivia Rodrigo’s “Good 4 U” (No. 5). BTS and Rodrigo tie for the most entries with three songs each in the top 20. The K-Pop group’s enduring hits “Dynamite” and “Life Goes On” sit at No. 8 and No. 20, respectively, while the fast-rising Disney star’s “Deja Vu” and “Drivers License” occupy the No. 18 and No. 19 positions.

Universal Music Group leads all labels with eight hits on the chart. Sony Music Entertainment has seven and Warner Music Group has five.

IMI plans to launch charts in two Indian regional languages next, before it finally puts out the pan-India, all-genre chart, IMI CEO and president Blaise Fernandes says in a press release. That chart has been almost four years in the making now.

Although the IMI has not officially given a reason for the delay, industry insiders say that disagreements among major Indian labels over the sharing of their streaming data by DSPs threw off plans to publish an all-genre chart. After the three major labels gave their consent, the Indian trade body decided to go ahead with an international music chart first and continue to work on the regional and pan-Indian charts.

The incorporation of plays on domestic audio-streaming platforms and views on YouTube into the international singles chart is also a “work in progress,” Dema Therese Maria, who leads charts and certifications at IMI, tells Billboard.

The India top 20 will be periodically reviewed by a seven-member “IMI Charts committee” composed of executives from the IMI, the three majors and Indian label Times Music. The committee will oversee decisions such as the relative weightage given to ad-supported and paid streams as well as which tracks qualify for the survey. India is the 17th largest music market in the world, according to IFPI.