Gaana financials include growth in subscriptions revenue

We’ve seen lots of big numbers this year for the amount of people streaming music in India, but what is that growth in listeners meaning for the underlying financials of the platforms providing those streams? One of the biggest ones, Gaana, has just published some figures that offer an insight into its business, at least. […]

Universal Music India’s VRYL project launches ‘Intezaar’ vide

Last week, Music Ally published a feature about the challenge that ‘non-film’ music is providing for Bollywood music in India – you can read it here if you missed it at the time. One of the projects exploring the potential for non-film music in India is Universal Music’s VYRL, which includes YouTube videos, streaming playlists and radio […]

CISAC report reveals growth in global music collections

CISAC, the global collecting-societies body, has published its annual ‘Global Collections Report’ setting out the collections of its 239 members in more than 120 countries. As ever, it’s a useful counterpart to the IFPI’s annual Global Music Report: while that publication focuses on recorded-music royalties, the music section of CISAC’s report quantifies collections for songwriters […]

Is Bollywood losing its dominance of the Indian music industry?

It’s a debatable opinion but one that warrants consideration in the Indian music industry in 2019: is Bollywood slowly but surely losing its dominance? Major Indian labels such as international heavyweights Sony and Universal and local biggie T-Series are increasingly releasing what they term “non-film music”, a loose if somewhat nebulous term used to classify […]

Hungama launches loyalty program for music and video streamers

Indian digital-media firm Hungama has launched a new loyalty program that spans its music and video-streaming services. It’s called Hungama Rewards, and involves people earning virtual ‘coins’ (no, not in a cryptocurrency way) for the actions they take on both services. Those coins can then be exchanged for various rewards, including digital subscriptions and offers, but also […]

Indian music-discovery app Flutin says it has 370k daily users

We’ve written a lot about the big music-streaming services in India like Gaana and JioSaavn, but this week brought news of an interesting-sounding music-discovery startup there. It’s called Flutin, and its schtick is building algorithmic playlists for users based on their musical preferences, activities, location and other data. The company says its app has been downloaded […]

Spotify teams up with Snapchat for Diwali promotion in India

Snap and Spotify have teamed up in an interesting way for a promotion in India around the Diwali festive season. The Snapchat app has a new augmented-reality lens designed to be used in a specific location: the Gateway of India monument in Mumbai. “The Spotify lens adds some unique AR experiences with special 3D effects, […]

JioSaavn says regional-language music is on the rise

In keeping with a trend playing out across audio-streaming services in India, regional language music has emerged one of the biggest drivers of growth for JioSaavn, the platform announced in a press release this week. With over two billion streams between January and September 2019, Punjabi is now the second-most played language on JioSaavn, ahead […]

Spotify’s family plan launches in India for $2.50 a month

When Spotify launched in India earlier this year, its family plan wasn’t part of the offering. Now it is. The plan launched yesterday for INR 179 a month (around $2.50) covering up to six people in a household as in other markets. “Spotify’s Premium Family plan has been loved across markets, and we know that […]

KPMG India predicts growing prominence for music subscriptions

Research firm KPMG’s India division has published its annual Media and Entertainment Report for 2019, which describes India’s digital future as a “mass of niches”. It’s very good for rooting what’s happening around music-streaming in the context of the wider digital-media ecosystem, as well as the Indian economy. There are some good music specifics though. “The […]

‘Juicing’ YouTube views with ads isn’t just an India thing

Sony Music artist Badshah came under the spotlight recently when his label claimed he’d broken YouTube’s first-day-views record; YouTube pointedly didn’t confirm it (and still hasn’t); and then debate ensued about the strategy of buying Google ads to boost a video’s view-count on YouTube. As Times Music COO Mandar Thakur crisply put it in a panel at […]

Indian telco Airtel launches TV, video and music bundle

We’ve been talking about the prospect of music-streaming services being bundled with video and other services for some time now, often through the lens of what the big, global technology companies like Apple, Google and Amazon will be doing. However, in India there’s another angle to this debate: telcos. Witness Bharti Airtel (Airtel for short), […]

New music revenues in India, from sync to digital merch

On the first day of the All About Music conference in Mumbai, IMI boss Blaise Fernandes cited an “underexploited” public performance market as one of the drivers of growth that will help steer India in its quest to become one of the world’s top ten biggest music markets by 2022. On the second day, at […]

Just like TikTok, Smule is bigger than you think in India

Yesterday was the second day of the All About Music conference in Mumbai, exploring various facets of the music industry’s development in India. Among the speakers was Jesse Gillette, SVP of business development at Smule, one of the longest-established social-music apps companies. The session yielded some interesting stats on its scale in India. Smule has 40 million users […]

Indian music industry debates potential for paid music subs

“I think we’re on course,” said Blaise Fernandes, the president and CEO of India’s official recorded music industry body the Indian Music Industry, when asked on a status update on the country’s plan to break into the top ten of the world’s biggest music markets by 2022, at this year’s edition of the annual All […]

Indian singer Guru Randhawa teams up with Pitbull… in Spanish

One of the trends Music Ally is keeping an eye on in the streaming era is collaborations that don’t involve Anglo-American artists. Latin America (or at least Spanish-language music, if made in the US) could be the hub for this: think K-Pop or African artists collaborating with Latin stars. Or, indeed, Indian artists. Punjabi singer […]

Sony Music makes India non-film music push with Big Bang Music JV

One of the most interesting things about music-streaming’s impact in India is whether it will fuel an even-bigger surge in the popularity of non-film music – with tracks from movies having dominated India’s music scene to this point. Sony Music has been exploring the potential for non-film music already, but now it’s making a new […]

JioSaavn’s owner is now the largest telco in India

Indian telco Reliance Jio appears to have overtaken rival Vodafone Idea to become the biggest mobile operator in India, with 331.3 million subscribers. TheNextWeb reports that this compares to 320 million people using Vodafone Idea, and the most recent figure of 320.6 million for the other big telco in India, Airtel. What’s the Music Ally relevance for […]

Spotify India marketing tweet sparks online game of Antakshari

If you’re not Indian, there’s a strong chance you haven’t played Antakshari. It’s a game played at parties where someone sings the first verse of a song. Whatever the last syllable is, the next person has to sing the first verse of another song beginning with that syllable. And so on. Anyway, the reason we’re […]

Google AdWords promotion was key to Badshah YouTube success

On Friday, we reported on Indian artist Badshah’s success with his new music video ‘Paagal’, and Sony Music India’s claim that it had broken BTS’ YouTube 24-hour-debut record with 75m views in its first day on the platform. We’re still waiting for YouTube to officially confirm the record, but in India there has been criticism […]

Badshah breaks YouTube 24-hour views record… with a little help from Ad Words

YouTube has yet to confirm this officially, but Sony Music India claims that one of its artists has broken the platform’s 24-hour viewing record. The artist is Badshah, with new track ‘Paagal’ and a video that raced to 75m views in its first 24 hours on YouTube. In a press release, Sony hailed the video for “dethroning […]

Film soundtracks are still 80% of music consumption in India

There are lots of exciting green shoots for an independent music scene in India, but music from films continues to be the dominant factor in what people are listening to there. That was one of the talking points at the recent Music Inc conference, as reported on by journalist Amit Gurbaxani for Firstpost. He notes that Spotify […]

Gaana may split premium features into cheaper subscriptions

Indian music-streaming service Gaana is planning to test cheaper subscription options that separate out some of the features from its current premium tier. That’s according to CEO Prashan Agarwal, in an interview with the BusinessLine website. “We need to de-couple Gaana Plus offerings. Currently, there are three key benefits that a user gets from Gaana Plus: ad-free […]

British music industry to launch new trade-mission to India

British music-industry bodies the BPI, AIM and MPA – along with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DTI) – are launching their latest trade mission to India. It’ll take place from 26-30 August, coinciding with the All About Music event in Mumbai. It’s the fifth year for the mission, which is open to artists, managers, promoters, […]

TikTok now has 120 million monthly active users in India

2019 has brought some bumps to TikTok’s progress in India, including a brief removal of its app from Google and Apple’s app stores in April. However, the social video app is now firing on all cylinders again in India, telling the Economic Times that it has 200 million users in the country, of which 120 million are […]

Gully Boy inspiration Divine talks hip-hop, India and independence

The film Gully Boy has been a huge hit in India, and it’s also reflected the emergence of an exciting new independent hip-hop scene in the country – something journalist Amit Gurbaxani wrote about for Music Ally in September 2018. Gully Boy is inspired by real-life rappers Divine and Naezy, and Divine (aka Vivian Fernandes) was […]

T-Series hits 100m subscribers on YouTube

We have been writing about T-Series, the Indian label and film production company that specialises in Bollywood soundtracks, for several years but have been most intrigued by its move onto YouTube, especially as it began to overtake PewDiePie in terms of channel subscribers (although that got very, very ugly on PewDiePie’s side). Now T-Series has just passed 100m subscribers, […]

Report: Bytedance has Indian label deals for new music service

New details have emerged on TikTok’s parent company Bytedance’s plans to launch its own music-streaming service. Bloomberg reports that the new service will launch this autumn “in a handful of territories, mostly poorer countries where paid services have yet to garner large audiences”. The countries aren’t named, but one clue comes from the news that Bytedance has […]

Spotify in India: ‘Our job is to grow the market’

It isn’t easy being Spotify. It’s harder being Spotify in India, a country where the launch of the world’s number one audio-streaming service has been the subject of much speculation and controversy. Now that’s it here, without most of the Warner Music Group catalogue and that of Saregama, India’s oldest record label that owns the […]

Spotify launches its stripped-down ‘Lite’ app in India

Having signed up more than two million users in India after its recent launch there, Spotify has now made its Spotify Lite app available in the country too. It’s a stripped-down version of Spotify’s smartphone app which is just 11MB in file-size, and is designed to be used in “slow network conditions”. The app has been […]

Music service Wynk loses statutory licensing case in India

A judge in the Bombay High Court in India has ruled against streaming and download service Wynk in its long-running licensing dispute with record company Tips Industries. It is a protracted story but, in brief, Tips and Wynk had failed to agree licensing terms back in 2017 and this saw Tips requesting that its catalogue of […]

Gaana CEO targets 600m Indian music-streamers by 2022

Gaana’s chief executive Prashan Agarwal isn’t content with the impressive growth so far in the number of Indian people streaming music. “The penetration of music streaming is only 10% in the Indian market with around 150 million users. The market needs to grow to 600 million in the next 2-3 years,” he told the Business Standard this […]

TikTok’s Indian app-store ban has now been overturned

Google and Apple removed social app TikTok from their app stores in India last week, but it will now be returning to the stores, after the state court in Tamil Nadu overturned its ban. This, in turn, has spurred India’s federal government to tell Google and Apple that they can make the app available again. […]

TikTok downloads blocked in India after government request

Social app TikTok hasn’t been blocked in India: people who’ve downloaded the app there are still using it. But is *has* been removed from Apple and Google’s app stores, meaning that new downloads are currently barred from those official sources. The news is a setback for TikTok in what’s become one of its biggest markets. […]

YouTube Music hits 3m downloads in one week in India

The top bosses at YouTube, including CEO Susan Wojcicki and global head of music Lyor Cohen, are in India to mark the launch of YouTube Music there, announcing the app has been downloaded 3m times in its first week. (In comparison, Spotify said 1m people had signed up for the service during the first week […]

Report: JioSaavn slashes annual subscription price by 75%

Will Spotify’s launch in India trigger a price war among competing music-subscription services? It’s possible: JioSaavn has just slashed the price of its annual JioSaavn Pro subscription by as much as 75%. That’s according to a report on the website NewsBytes. “Previously, the plan was available at Rs. 999/year, but now, you can get the same […]

Western artists prove popular in Spotify’s early days in India

Spotify had more than one million people using its service in India a week after launch, but what were they listening to? The company shed some light on that last night in a blog post. “What we found is that Indians are starting off strong by listening to musicians and tracks from around the globe, with […]

Indian streaming service Gaana to hold another US festival

We recently wrote about music-streaming service Gaana’s growth to 80 million active users, making it a leading service in its home country India. Yet Gaana is keen to build its brand around the world, including the US. This June, it’ll hold its second Gaana Music Festival Stateside, in Holmdel, New Jersey and Mountain View, California. RadioAndMusic reported that […]

Spotify has 1m users in India one week after launch

Spotify launched in India last week, amid a controversy surrounding its licensing – and a legal injunction filed by Warner Music Group. That row continues, but how is the Indian launch going otherwise? Spotify has confirmed to Music Ally that a week after launch, it now has more than one million users in India. That’s […]

In India ‘the scale opportunity is telco bundles’

Reading a report about India earlier this week, we spotted a reference to the music-streaming market there needing to go beyond subscriptions and advertising for its revenues. How, though? Consultancy firm Midia Research has published its answer: telcos. “To unlock the scale opportunity, streaming has to look beyond subscriptions, and also beyond ad supported,” claimed founder […]

Hungama ‘Sound of Fame’ report explores Indian listening trends

Indian digital-music service Hungama has published a report – Sound of Fame – which outlines some of the trends on its platform in 2018. The company said that its user base grew by 48% last year, with a 22% increase in average listening-time per user. The number of streams on Hungama Music tripled in 2018, but the […]

Court ruling emerges as Warner Music calls Spotify’s comments ‘appalling’

An Indian court has made its ruling on Warner Music Group’s application for an injunction as part of its dispute with Spotify over publishing licensing in the country. Does the ruling settle the matter one way or the other? Unsurprisingly, it’s complicated. Here’s Spotify’s statement, sent out to journalists this morning: “We’re pleased with today’s […]

Report claims there are now 150m ‘audio OTT’ users in India

A figure that’s been bandied around about the Indian digital-music market is ‘100 million’ – that’s how many people were thought to be using music-streaming services in India last year. Now there’s an update in a report published by Deloitte and Indian music-industry body IMI about the ‘Audio OTT economy in India’ – Audio OTT being ‘over-the-top’ […]

Indian music industry keen for safe-harbour clampdown

The ‘value gap’ debate isn’t just a European or American thing. In India, too, there is a discussion going on (and, indeed, a fully-fledged political consultation exercise) on how safe harbours should operate. The Indian government is considering new legislation – the  Information Technology [Intermediaries Guidelines (Amendment) Rules – and Indian music-industry body IMI has published […]

Vodafone Idea mulls new music-streaming strategy in India

We’ve written a lot about Indian streaming services Gaana, Saavn (now JioSaavn) and Wynk Music over the last couple of years. Their next source of competition may come from telco Vodafone, which recently merged with another Indian mobile operator, Idea Cellular. The latter company already has its Idea Music app, which combines streaming, downloading, playlists […]

India draws up new rules for ‘intermediary’ apps like TikTok

Social apps from overseas, particularly China, have been dominating the upper reaches of app stores in India. Now the government is responding, with new regulations aimed at ‘intermediary’ apps that get their content from users. The Financial Times reported that any such apps with more than five million users in India ‘need to set up […]

Research firm predicts Spotify added 2m US subscribers in Q4

Spotify announces its latest quarterly financial results on 6 February, but research firm CIRP has got in early with some predictions – based on (caveat alert!) a survey of 500 Spotify listeners in the US. It reckons that Spotify added two million paying premium subscribers in the US during the final quarter of 2018, while […]

Zee Music Company reaches 30m-subscribers YouTube milestone

It’s not just T-Series doing well at signing subscribers up for Indian-music YouTube channels. Zee Music Company has announced its own milestone: 30 million subscribers for its flagship YouTube channel, which mixes film and non-film music. “Zee Music Company is now 30 million subscribers strong on YouTube India. A big THANK YOU to all for […]

Hungama Music launches radio-style ‘original audio programming’

It’s not just the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Pandora trying to take a bite out of traditional radio by moving into podcasts. Indian streaming service Hungama Music is following suit with the launch of what it’s terming ‘original audio programming’. That means radio-style shows in languages including Hindi, Telegu, Punjabi, Bengali and Marathi, but starting […]

The top three artists on YouTube last week were all from India

Guess who the most popular musician in the world was last week based on YouTube views? Not Ariana Grande, who’s currently Spotify’s top artist: she was only 21st in YouTube’s weekly rankings for 11-17 January – admittedly before the release of her latest track ‘7 Rings’, which has done 60m+ views in its first five days on […]

Report claims Spotify could launch in India this month

We’ve been expecting Spotify to launch in India sometime in the spring, based on previous gossip from industry sources. However, Variety reckons the streaming service could go live even earlier than that – as soon as this month. “Spotify is rumored to be hosting a launch party in Mumbai on January 31, which means they’re […]

Spotify India launch plans heat up with T-Series… and Samsung?

Indian music company T-Series still hasn’t managed to knock gamer PewDiePie off his perch as YouTube’s most-subscribed-to channel: it’s on 80.5 million subs at the time of writing, compared to PewDiePie’s 80.9 million. Given their respective growth over the past year, it seems only a matter of time before T-Series is top dog – but […]

Sandbox Issue 219: The Tools and Trends That Will Shape 2019

Lead: A new year and a new slate. To kick off the year, we speak to marketers around the business and around the world about what tools they think will be indispensable and what trends they believe will shape 2019. From AR filters and scarcity to algorithmic personalisation of playlists, the continued rise of Latin […]

How Gaana became India’s top audio-streaming music service

There has been some debate over the title of India’s top music audio-streaming service, with multiple companies staking their claim. Most recently, in December 2018, Gaana said that it now had 80 million monthly active users (MAUs), which would make it the country’s top service “with a fair margin” according to CEO Prashan Agarwal. So […]

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