India’s growth as a music-streaming economy (if not, just yet, a music subscriptions economy) continues apace. Blaise Fernandes, the head of record trade body Indian Music Industry (IMI), says that there are now 200 million unique users of music streaming apps in India. Fernandes was talking to tech site TheNextWeb for a feature on India and music streaming.
The 200 million figure is for unique listeners: “That figure will be closer to 250 million, if you count overlapping users’ accounts separately,” explained journalist Ivan Mehta. The news comes shortly after Indian streaming service Gaana announced that it now has more than 150 million active users, having grown sharply in the latter half of 2019.
The Indian market as a whole has also been growing rapidly. In August 2018, the industry consensus there was that around 100 million people were streaming music in India. A few months later, a report co-published by IMI and Deloitte raised that total to nearly 150 million people at the end of 2018. A year on, it appears to have crossed the 200 million mark – still only around 15% penetration in a country with a population of 1.33 billion people.
(One extra, albeit unofficial stat: the piece cites data from web analytics firm SimilarWeb claiming that Spotify now has nearly 10 million monthly active users in India, although it’s unclear to what extent mobile usage factors in to that.)
The article also reinforces the sense that subscriptions are still just a tiny niche of the Indian music streaming market. Times Internet told Mehta that Gaana now has more than two million paid subscribers, which is just 1.3% of its active users. Which, with an optimist’s hat on, is at least a tiny bit better than the “less than 1%” conversion rate reported in that IMI/Deloitte report a year ago.
“Most of these apps are in a land grab mode. Right now, their focus is to increase their monthly user base — then they’ll concentrate on getting subscription numbers up,” said Fernandes in his latest interview, pointing to low credit-card penetration in India, and the continued popularity of piracy, as to factors in the sluggish growth for subscriptions so far.