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If you read our new India country profile yesterday (and if you missed it, here’s the link) you’ll know about industry body IMI’s desire to grow paid streaming subscriptions there.

More context comes from a spiky speech from IMI chairman Vikram Mehra, reported by Medianews4u, in which he criticised the established Indian streaming services.

“The interest of many of these companies was to increase their valuation. To increase valuation, a metric used is Monthly Active Users or Daily Active Users. The more the users, the higher the price of the company. So all of them were acting to increase MAUs and gave a damn to the pay business; they just wanted to push the free business,” said Mehra.

“We have already seen pressure on one of the platforms – Gaana. There are one or two others which are in a shaky state. Please be prepared that in the short run, one, two or three of these platforms may just vanish. Because they may not be able to sustain this.”

Mehra also predicted that in the next 18-24 months, the streaming market will flip towards paid rather than free.

“There are 550 million people paying for streaming across the world. Why should India be any different?”

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