From Tansen’s melodies in the Mughal era to Billie Eilish in the contemporary day and age, music has shuffled and travelled through various ages without losing its charm.
The previous decade saw a surge in the number of music app downloads owing to the massive internet penetration in India. The total number of internet users in India are expected to cross 735 Mn by 2021 with more than 73% of them consuming the content in Indian regional languages. Affordable smartphones and even cheaper data costs are the two major catalysts in this boom.
The surge in vernacular content consumption has benefited the popular music streaming giants to establish their pertinent presence in India. At present, the Indian market is dominated by Times Internet-owned Gaana, JioSaavn, Apple Music, YouTube Music and Sweden-based Spotify. In its Diwali report, Spotify highlighted that Bihar, a tier 2 city in India, led the streaming charts on its Diwali curated playlists. By the end of 2019, homegrown music streaming app Gaana crossed 150 Mn users mark.
From The Sound Of Music to the business of music — the industry has evolved and diversified with each passing decade and centuries. Here are some of the music streaming apps trumpeting in India.
10 Music Streaming Apps In India 2020
After entering India in February 2019, the world’s largest music streaming service, Spotify had hit 1 Mn users in a week. By the end of 2019, Spotify intensified its focus in India with various offerings, including a ‘Lite’ app, playlists catering to regional language music and listeners, and launching original podcasts on its platform.
Currently offering its premium service at INR 119/month and INR 1,189/year, Spotify, in Q3 2019, reported a 30% Y-o-Y growth reaching a 248 Mn global users mark.
Launched in 2010, homegrown music streaming app Gaana has been leading the market in India along with crossing a 150 Mn users mark in February 2020. In a bid to take on its competitors, Gaana introduced video stories on its platform showcasing the artists and influencers and enabling users to see short-video content.
Besides the feature, Gaana has also focussed on expanding its library with original podcasts and shows. Gaana’s premium service offers an yearly subscription at INR 399 and a monthly service at INR 99.
Following the merger of Reliance Jio and Saavn in March 2018, audio streaming platform JioSaavn came into picture to compete with Gaana and Spotify, claiming a 100 Mn monthly active users (MAU) in October 2019.
Backed by its parent company, Reliance Industries limited, JioSaavn reported an estimated annual revenue of $9.2 Mn in September 2019.
Currently, the audio streaming service offers its premium service, JioSaavn Pro, at INR 99/month and INR 399/year.
After entering India in March 2019, YouTube Music overtook spotify in terms of gaining quick popularity in the Indian market. The music streaming service recorded 3 Mn app downloads within 3 weeks of its launch exceeding Spotify’s 1 Mn users mark obtained in a week.
The Google owned video streaming service YouTube, followed the footsteps of Spotify’s premium launch in India, and decided to roll out its premium service in November 2019.
Currently, YouTube Music’s premium subscription comes at a cost of INR 129/month.
Amazon Prime Music
Amazon Prime Music entered India in February 2018 exclusively for Amazon Prime members as part of the yearly or monthly subscriptions. Amazon introduced its Prime Video service in India in 2016, which provides its customers exclusive access to movies, Amazon’s original series along with premium content beyond borders.
Amid rising competition in India, Amazon launched a free advertisement-run plan for its Amazon Prime Music.
Currently, Amazon Prime offers its subscription costs at INR 129/month and INR 999/year.
Backed by Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi’s first investment in India, Hungama Music is part of one of the veterans in the Indian music streaming industry with content ranging from Hindi, English, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali, Marathi, Bhojpuri, Gujarati, Rajasthani, Oriya, Assamese and Haryanavi.
Currently, Hungama’s premium subscription costs INR 99/month and INR 499/year.
A music app launched initially to cater to Apple users, Apple Music was launched in India in 2015 and is currently available for both iOS and Android users. The company is going headstrong in India when it comes to revenue growth thanks to its iPhone 11 series and a series of new product launches.
Currently Apple Music is available at INR 49/month for students and INR 99/month for an individual whereas the family plan is priced at INR 149/month
Google Play Music
Google’s own music streaming service was announced in November 2011, and since then it comes as a pre-installed app in every Android smartphone. Tech giant Google has time and again powered itself with regular developments and updates.
Interestingly, users can upload upto 50,000 of their own songs and create a backup without having to worry about their drive space. The premium version of Google’s music streaming service is likely to be integrated into YouTube Music soon.
Currently, the ad-free version of Google Music is priced at INR 99/month.
Wynk by Airtel came into picture in 2014 and was one of the first music streaming services in India which let users download and listen to the songs while offline. It launched as a free service for Airtel subscribers
Currently, Wynk’s premium service is the cheapest in the market being priced at INR 49/month and INR 349/year for an ad free music experience.
One of the first music streaming platforms, SounCloud lets users upload their own tracks to get discovered and recognised. Popular comedian Hasan Minhaj in his Netflix special Patriot Act talks about the rise of hip hop as a music genre and the role of streaming apps such as SoundCloud in putting artists such as Lil Pump and Post Malone on the map.
The music streaming company also offers a SoundCloud Pulse app specially for creators who wish to produce and monetise their tracks. Currently the app does not offer premium services in India.