Times Music COO is hopeful about future growth of streaming subscriptions


Music Ally’s latest market profile focuses on India, including the question of whether the country can build a viable premium-subscriptions market for music-streaming, rather than just the ad-supported free model which currently dominates. India has been enjoying strong growth from a low base: In the IFPI’s 2017 figures, recorded music revenue in India was up 13.6% last year to $130.7m, following an increase of 25.7% in 2016.

In 2017, streaming revenue in India grew 60.8% to $87.4m, with revenue from subscription audio ($33.7m) overtaking that of ad-supported audio streams ($27.6m) and video streaming ($26m). Yet only around 1% of the estimated 100m music-streaming users in India are paying for these services.

One executive who’s hopeful for the future is Times Music COO Mandar Thakur, who talked to Music Ally for the report about the “staggering” growth of music-streaming services in India, from his position at the parent company of one of those services – Gaana.

““Low-cost data; extremely low-cost 4G smartphones with industry-grade features; a plethora of content availability across more than six-to-eight services; and a market ready for subscriptions at extremely low price points via mobile wallets like PayTM means that consumption will only go upwards,” he told us. “Added to that is my sustained and contrarian belief that subscription will catch up at an incremental rate.”

The Indian music industry is hoping for the country to be a top-10 global market, up from its current position of 19th. That growth – and note the admission that anticipating it is a ‘contrarian’ belief still – will be an important factor in making this happen. Read the full market-profile here.

Stuart Dredge

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