One of the questions we get asked regularly by Punjabi music fans is – Why is the song not on Apple Music or Spotify. Data released yesterday highlights why Gaana get the exclusive plays of Punjabi songs first and foremost. Gaana has confirmed it has a staggering 152 million monthly users!
Gaana says the staggering growth is thanks to a 40% growth in regional music consumption. Punjabi music is at the top of the 40%. Bollywood music consumption is another growing category with 35% growth last year, it is Bollywood’s back catalogue that is proving to be driving force for the rise in Bollywood music consumption.
Music-streaming revenue globally hit $24 billion last year, according to Counterpoint. India so far accounts for just a sliver of that, some $200 million in 2019. But streaming revenues in India are projected to climb to $400 million by 2023, according to TechSci Research, and should continue to rise as hundreds of millions of new digital listeners turn to their mobile devices for music.
Gaana crossed the 125 million user threshold in December of 2019. Gaana focuses on offering hyper-local music tastes throughout India with cut-rate pricing to boot.
Gaana’s 152 MAUs is more than half of Spotify’s global user base. It is double Apple Music’s global count, and many more than YouTube Music or Amazon Music have ever revealed. While each of these services is available in India with rock-bottom pricing, none can match the popularity or growth rate of Gaana.
Gaana is built from the ground up to cater to Indian music tastes. It features more than 45 million songs in more than 20 different regional languages. Most Western music services lack this depth, despite their international appeal.
Gaana Chief Executive Prashan Agarwal says India’s music tastes vary significantly across different regions. “You have to understand the consumption habits by region and even by city,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
The Indian music service has the edge over its international rivals because Indians built the app for India.
India is one of the world’s largest emerging tech markets. Only half of India’s 1.3 billion people have access to the internet. Accordingly, many tech firms are scrambling to establish their presence in the country. Millions of people are connecting to the internet for the first time — becoming brand new potential customers in the process.
Gaana also offers price advantages. There is a free version with advertising and paid plans starting at 12 rupees (17 cents) a month for students. Spotify also offers a free version, but its least expensive ad-free monthly plans start at around 80 cents. Apple’s service starts at about 70 cents, while YouTube Music starts at about $1.10.
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