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Independent report pegs Gaana as top Indian music service


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What do we know about the growth of the digital music market in India? We know that there are around 200 million people streaming music there, courtesy of a recent interview with Blaise Fernandes, head of industry body IMI. That’s unique individuals, and it’s a number that has doubled since the summer of 2018, when there were around 100 million.

We also know that there’s a lot of overlap between the different streaming services, given the dominance of their free tiers. Gaana claims more than 150 million active users, while rival JioSaavn claimed 104 million in April 2019. Throw in Wynk Music, Spotify, Google Play Music (we’ll get to YouTube in a minute), Amazon Music, Apple Music and others, and you get a sense of the patchwork making up those 200 million streamers.

All this is a lead into the publication of an independent report estimating the actual shares of these various services. The ‘OTT Audience Measurement Insights’ report is the work of research firms Kantar and Vtion, based on data collected from 9,000 mobile users in India’s nine biggest cities this January.

The report claims that Gaana took a 30% market share, ahead of JioSaavn’s 24%, with Wynk and Spotify on 15% apiece, Google Play Music on 10%, and other streaming services combining for a 7% share. It’s not immediately clear from local news reports on the study what’s being measured, but the fact that the shares add up to 100% – well, 101% because rounding – suggests that it’s not share of users (because of those overlaps) but listening time or a similar metric.

One talking point there is Spotify’s growth to a 15% share in just a year in India. We have some concerns though. For starters, what about YouTube? Not YouTube Music, but the main YouTube platform. In April 2019, YouTube had 265 million monthly active users in India, and a glimpse at YouTube’s latest Indian ‘top artist’ chart shows that just the 10 most popular artists’ music generated more than 1.5bn video views last week alone.

YouTube is a music-streaming juggernaut in India, and that’s not reflected in the Kantar/Vtion study, which is focused on ‘OTT Audio’ services. One thing that puzzled us initially was the infographic accompanying coverage of the study, which claimed that 13 million users “listened to any audio streaming app in [the] last 30 days”. That wouldn’t square with IMI’s figure of 200 million music streamers in India as a whole (even if that includes YouTube) let alone Gaana and JioSaavn’s claimed totals.

We think we’ve solved the riddle: the 13 million figure may be for ‘audio OTT’ users only in the nine cities covered by the study, rather than in India as a whole. If so, that opens up another question about how those market shares might differ in the rest of the country. We’ll be digging for more detail on these questions today, and will update you as soon as we know.

Stuart Dredge

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One response
  • Neel says:

    This data is irrelevant as Indian users are free mongers. There is no mindset to pay for a service in India. They will use anything as long as it’s free. So Gaana being the highest streamed app will only generate revenue from ads. The paid subscribers will be just a fraction. If you really wanna compare let’s compare paid subscriber numbers of each service and that data should be interesting.

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