YouTube Music, which entered the Indian market in March 2019, has emerged as the most frequently used music app in India. This is despite intense competition in the Indian music streaming space, which is flooded with many active players including Gaana, JioSaavn, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Google Play.
YouGov’s latest research report says that around a quarter of Indians (23%) claim YouTube Music is the most frequently used app by them in order to listen to music. The report credits access to the latest soundtracks and the ability to share music as the main reason for using it.
YouTube is followed by Gaana (17%), Google Play Music (13%) and Jio Saavn (13%). “For close to half of those who use YouTube Music commonly, access to latest soundtracks (49%) is the biggest reason for indulging with the platform. However, more people are drawn to YouTube Music than other music apps because of the ability to share music through the app (47%),” says the report.
The report also says 62% of Indians use Spotify for its personalised playlist recommendations and 54% prefer it because of its user-friendly interface. The music streaming giant has been increasing its focus on the Indian market. In November 2019, it launched its original audio-based content for the Indian market called Spotify Podcasts Originals.
The Swedish company has managed to grab more than 2 Mn monthly active users (MAUs) in India with its various offerings including a Lite app, cheaper subscription plans and playlists catering to regional language music and listeners.
Indians Prefer Free Versions Over Paid Subscriptions
Following Spotify, YouTube Music also decided to offer prepaid plans for its services in the country in November 2019. Google announced that its users across India will be able to purchase either a one-month or three-month prepaid plan to enjoy YouTube Premium and YouTube Music Premium benefits.
However, YouGov data shows that around 77% of the people who currently use apps to stream music enjoy free versions of the apps with only 23% opting paid subscriptions.
“Out of the ones using YouTube Music, only 11% subscribe to the paid model as compared to the whopping 89% that uses the free version. The numbers are similar for other frequently used apps –such as with Google Play (92% free vs 8% paid users of the app) and Jio Saavn (82% vs 18%),” it says.
Only a few players like Amazon Prime Music have managed to grab a fair share of paid users. The report said more than seven in ten users of Amazon Prime Music are currently signed to the paid subscription of the app and the inclusion in the Amazon Prime Play package could be a reason for the high number of subscribers.
Additionally, out of the total current users of Spotify and Gaana, only 22% and 25%, respectively, are paid users of the app.
The global music streaming market is about $ 8.9 Bn, which is double the size of the traditional music market. India has also witnessed the entry of many players into space over the years. The market currently has 7-8 main players including Gaana, JioSaavn, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Spotify and YouTube Music. According to industry experts, the music streaming market will grow further, thanks to the increasing internet penetration.