Similar to video consumption, the Indian music industry has undergone a sea change in the past few years. Gone are the days when government channels and private FM radio stations were the only sources of audio entertainment for millions of Indians on the go while the recorded music industry catered to the rest of the market. But with deep internet penetration, cheap data packs and affordable smartphones taking over, the boundaries of the music streaming sector have been pushed. The Indian market is now chock-a-block with music streaming platforms, and more are getting launched with each passing quarter.
In spite of the recent growth, the music streaming market in India is moderately fragmented, with a dozen or so apps operating in this space.
India had 26.7 Mn paid music streaming users in 2017 which grew to 51.2 Mn users in 2020 (the pandemic year). This number further grew to 59.4 Mn in 2021, according to Statista. The number of users is further slated to touch 87.2 Mn paid users in 2025.
The country has witnessed only 4.3% user penetration for music streaming services, way below the developed economies such as the US (30.2%), the UK (27.5%), Germany (25.1%), Sweden (24.6%) and Singapore (24.6%), according to Statista.
How Music Streaming Apps Stack Up
Music streaming platforms in India are gaining traction due to the growing appetite for on-demand music, the growing popularity of podcasts and a shift in the music consumption pattern owing to work from home.
As part of 8th edition of our annual 2021 in Review series, Inc42 partnered with AppTweak to understand how these music streaming apps have performed in this year in terms of downloads, page views, app power and more.
Here are a few takeaways:
Wynk Music Is The Rising Star Of India’s Music Streaming Apps
Launched in 2014 as a free service for Airtel subscribers, Bharti Airtel-owned Wynk Music is one of the pioneers in the music streaming space and enables users to download and listen to songs offline.
Currently, Wynk’s premium service is the cheapest in the market, priced at INR 49/month and INR 349/year for an ad-free music experience.
Wynk had a 15% market share in 2020, according to a market research study by Kantar and VTION.
Wynk, JioSaavn Ruled Music Streaming In India
According to AppTweak, app power is a key performance indicator (KPI) for assessing the overall performance of an app in the Google Play Store. It considers various factors such as an app’s competitiveness by category and the app store region overall.
Interestingly, Wynk Music, JioSaavn and Spotify have led the music streaming segment throughout the year, but the app power of Amazon Music has declined during this period. SoundCloud has the lowest app power among the music streaming apps in India.
Wynk Music Poached Most Visits From Gaana
Between January and November in 2021, Wynk Music recorded the maximum number of similar views on the Google Play Store — a total of 489.6 Mn. According to AppTweak, similar views present an estimated number of impressions an app gets when it appears under the ‘similar apps’ suggestions on a competitor’s page. Interestingly, Wynk gained around 30% of similar views, or 148.8 Mn, via the Gaana platform.
Gaana, yet another popular music streaming app, clocked the second-highest similar views at 327.7 Mn. What’s more, it gained around 40% of similar views, or 131.7 Mn, via Wynk Music on the Google Play Store. It means around 40% of Gaana’s impressions came from people who actually landed on the Wynk Music page. Gaana was also India’s third most downloaded music streaming app, with 26.4 Mn downloads during January-November 2021.
What Will Drive Music Streaming Apps In India?
With a major shift in the pattern of music consumption during pandemic times, the music streaming market will continue to witness growth momentum across India.
India currently has roughly 15 music streaming players comprise of Indian and international companies. Besides Hindi or English the focus is primarily on tapping the vernacular or regional language listener base for most. Many of the Indian apps are tapping the rural talent base of the country. Most local players now offer all key regional languages with Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and Malayalam the top ones.
The rising popularity of podcasts (India currently has 40+ players catering to 200 Mn monthly active users), growth in regional music consumption, the emergence of flexible subscriptions ranging from daily and weekly mini-plans to student discounts and widespread consolidation are likely to drive this space.
Its adoption can be further driven by technology integration such as AI-based recommendations, personalisation and regional content. However, building a sustainable revenue stream with a big pool of paid subscribers will be difficult in India as long as free options exist.