India may have more audio-streaming services than most countries – there are now ten if you count ByteDance’s Resso – but there’s something to be learned from how each of them attracts a different audience, through the lists of their most streamed songs this year.
Spotify India’s chart for 2019 is topped by ‘Senorita’ by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello, which is also the runner-up on Apple Music India (where the number one for the year is the Hindi rap hit ‘Apna Time Aayega’ from Bollywood smash Gully Boy). Both global platforms currently have only a fraction of the following of local players – Spotify launched just ten months ago and India is primarily an Android market – and though Gaana and JioSaavn haven’t put out year-end round-ups, a check of play counts on their apps shows that ‘Duniyaa’ from the film Luka Chuppi and ‘Tujhe Kitna Chahne Lage’ from the movie Kabir Singh were their most played tracks of the past 11 months respectively.
Four services, four different number ones. Add to this the fact that the highest streamed music video on YouTube in India during 2019 was the regional-language tune ‘Rowdy Baby’ from the Tamil movie Maari 2.
There are of course clear reasons for this diversity: Spotify and Apple Music both attract more international music listeners while Gaana, JioSaavn and YouTube have a larger and wider audience spread across through the country.