India appears to be The Land Of The 100-Million Milestones in 2019, as far as music-streaming goes. Gaana and JioSaavn both claim to have more than 100 million active users, while telco Airtel has its own nine-digit milestone: 100m installs for its Wynk Music app, as of January 2019.
But now Airtel has launched a companion service of sorts called Wynk Tube. As the name makes clear, this is a direct competitor to YouTube Music, including offering audio and video streaming within the same app. The app is initially available for Android smartphones, weighing in at less than 5MB in file-size, and designed to work on “even basic smartphones”.
Airtel’s announcement of Wynk Tube claimed that the app “aims to simplify the digital entertainment experience for hundreds of millions of smartphones users, particularly in Tier 2 and 3 towns and villages” – a demographic that Gaana’s CEO also recently suggested will be the key engine of music-streaming growth in India.
“Wynk Music gave shape to our journey to the first 100 million users and we believe Wynk Tube will accelerate our journey to the next 100 million users,” said Sameer Batra, CEO, content and apps, at Airtel. “We hope to build Wynk Tube into one of the most popular music platforms in India with even the possibility of user generated content as a differentiator.” YouTube is a daunting rival though: its YouTube Music app has been downloaded 15m times in India so far, but YouTube itself has more than 265 million monthly active users there.