Digital music industry in India expected to surpass $273 million by 2020: Report


NEW DELH I: With nearly 450 million smartphones powered by cheapest data packs, the online music streaming industry in India is witnessing a phenomenal growth like over-the-top (OTT) video streaming players.

According to the market consulting firm Deloitte, online music market in India is expected to surpass $273 million by 2020. The global music streaming giants are now calling the Indian market a “sleeping giant” they took too long to discover.

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The competition is fierce and music streaming apps like Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, Gaana and JioSaavn have drastically slashed their monthly subscriptions and are testing weekly as well as daily plans for the users. JioSaavn and Gaana dropped their annual fee from Rs 999 and Rs 1,098 respectively to Rs 299, along with Rs 99 a month plan.

Apple Music prices in India have been slashed to Rs 99 a month, followed by YouTube Music Premium at Rs 99 per month plan. To offer a little extra to users, Amazon Music’s subscription is also bundled with Amazon Prime’s at Rs 129 a month. Spotify is slightly behind, offering subscription for Rs 119 in India with flexible prepaid plans that range from a single-day pass to six months of access.

A recent survey by CyberMedia Research (CMR) revealed that 55 per cent of people in India are spending 30 per cent of their time listening to music. “As mobile continues to drive affordability and accessibility, more number of Indians are streaming music,” said Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR. YouTube Music has hit three million downloads within a week of its launch in India earlier this month.

Swedish music streaming platform Spotify garnered over one million users within a week in March. According to CMR, Gaana (25%) has emerged as the most favoured on-demand music streaming app among Indians, followed by Apple Music (20%), YouTube (20%) and Wynk (14%).

In a ranking of digital content engagement among Indian consumers in 2018, music has emerged as the most accessed, downloaded and/or streamed category on a scale of 0 to 4 — with a ranking of 3.13 — followed by apps, movies and TV shows, newspapers and video games, says leading database platform Statista.

However, the subscription revenue from the customer alone is not going to significantly increase in the coming days. “This is because the willingness to pay for content in India is comparatively lesser that other matured economies,” Thomas George, Manager and Senior Vice President of research firm CyberMedia Research (CMR), said.