Tune into your favorite Indian artists and songs with these local music streaming platforms!
India’s music streaming market has been growing exponentially over the past few years. The number of streaming platform users rose from 26.7 million in 2017 to 51.2 million in 2020, and the number is expected to grow to 87.2 million in 2025.
A major reason behind this is the more and more affordable smartphones and data packages, allowing people to stream on-demand entertainment 24/7. Another contributor to the growing popularity of local music streaming platforms is their exclusive offer of regional music and micropayment model (where users can pay for what they want to stream as opposed to a monthly subscription model), which their international counterparts, like Apple Music and Spotify, cannot compete with. Such a supply of Indian music from these local platforms matches with the huge demand for regional content, such as Tamil, Bhojpuri, Punjabi, Bengali, Malayalam and Telugu. Data shows that while global music listeners spend 49% of their streaming hours on local content on average, it goes up to 83% for Indian listeners.
To learn more about these Indian streaming platforms and how they are contributing to the market’s growth, let’s look at three of the biggest players in the market:
Founded in: 2007
Fund raised: US$131.6 million
Annual revenue: around US$9.2 million (as reported in 2019)
Subscription price: US$1.24/month on Android and US$1.49/month via iTunes on iOS; US$5.09/year on Android and iOS
Founded in New York as a B2B company, JioSaavn digitized Indian music and distributed it to American media services, like iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon. In 2010, the founders turned Saavn into a music streaming platform where users could search and listen to Indian music. Since then, the platform has seen remarkable growth in listening hours per user and the user base. The company also began to acquire independent and international music. That, coupled with the launch of Artist Originals in 2017, helps promote independent musicians and their work. In March 2018, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) acquired a majority stake in the company, making JioSaavan one of the largest streaming services globally.
Now, the platform caters to the entire South Asian diaspora around the world, providing them with music that reminds them of their roots. Its 100 million monthly active users can access more than 80 million tracks from 900 label partnerships in 16 different languages (alongside six regional Indian dialect options), showing its ongoing efforts toward globalization.
Founded by: Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel
Founded in: 2014
Annual revenue: US$75.2 million as of December 31, 2020
Subscription price: US$0.61/month and US$4.38/year on Android and iOS
Wynk Music is a music streaming app developed by Airtel, one of India’s leading telecom providers. As of November 2021, the app has over 73.2 million monthly active users. Wynk offers over 32 billion song tracks in 14 languages both in free and premium subscription plans, with the latter giving users ad-free listening, high-quality audio and access to exclusive content.
Additionally, the app has a vast library of both Indian and international artists. It also offers several other features, like allowing users to set caller tunes (music your caller hears when they call you), listen to podcasts and download MP3 music for offline listening.
Recently, Wynk Music introduced a new platform called “Wynk Studio” for Indian and overseas artists. It allows them to launch their music and partner up with the company on monetizing tunes through various platforms, such as YouTube ads or Spotify Adverts. It will be part of Airtel’s digital product portfolio, including Wynk, Airtel Xstream (Airtel’s over-the-top [OTT] platform) and Airtel Ads (Airtel’s advertising solution).
Founded by: Avinash Mudaliar
Founded in: 2011
Fund raised: US$206.2 million
Annual Revenue: around US$16.7 million (as reported in 2021)
Subscription price: US$1.24 per month; US$ 3.12 for six months and US$ 3.75 yearly on both Android and iOS
Gaana is another popular music streaming platform in India with over 185 million active users. Like Saavn, it has a large library of both Indian and international artists. However, what sets Gaana apart is its localized content offerings. In addition to Bollywood and Tamil songs, Gaana also offers regional content in Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, Bengali, Kannada, Gujarati and Telugu. This makes it the go-to platform for many non-English speaking users in India.
These are three Indian startups making big waves in the music industry right now! All three companies are reasonably well-funded, have partnerships with major labels and offer compelling features that set them apart from their competitors. Which one will come out on top? Only time will tell! But one thing is for sure—the future of Indian music is looking very bright indeed.
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Header image courtesy of Freepik