We’ve seen lots of big numbers this year for the amount of people streaming music in India, but what is that growth in listeners meaning for the underlying financials of the platforms providing those streams? One of the biggest ones, Gaana, has just published some figures that offer an insight into its business, at least.

News site YourStory got its hands on the company’s latest financial results, via India’s Registrar of Companies, reporting that Gaana (which is owned by media group Times Internet) actually saw its revenues drop by 27% to Rs 121.22 crore (around $17m) in its full 2019 financial year, while its losses quadrupled year-on-year to Rs 193.2 crore ($27m).

It’s not all bad news: the article also reported that Gaana’s subscription revenues grew by 140.7% to Rs 26 crore ($3.6m) in its latest fiscal year. By our reckoning that means subscriptions accounted for around 21.4% of Gaana’s revenues that year, which makes YourStory’s claim that subscriptions “drove about a third of Gaana revenues” a bit puzzling.

Gaana isn’t in any danger of going out of business: in February 2018 it raised a $115m funding round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent, which helped to fuel the service’s subsequent growth from 60 million active users in June 2018 to 100 million by April 2019.

It’s disconcerting, though, to see reports of the company’s revenues falling at the same time as this growth. Caveat, Music Ally is relying on YourStory’s first-hand report on the financials document – we haven’t seen it ourselves, although the figures have since been reported elsewhere.

CEO Prashan Agarwal recently told YourStory that “We are growing at about 100 percent year-on-year, both on ad revenue and subscription revenue”, so the outlook for the full-year 2020 may be more positive. At the least, it seems there’s more to tell here: Music Ally will follow up with any additional details about Gaana’s financials as we find them.

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Music Ally's Head of Insight

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