Gaana and Wynk Music were the two most downloaded music apps worldwide for July 2019. These were from Google Play and App Store downloads.
Gaana landed on the 6th position on the Overall downloads list and at No.5 on Google Play downloads list. Gaana, one of India’s leading music streaming platform crossed 100 mn monthly active users (MAU) in March 2019. A December 2018 Deloitte report had indicated that the Indian music streaming platform had around 150 mn MAU. With Gaana now crossing the 100 million MAU mark, this could consolidate their leadership albeit for the time being.
Following Gaana was Wynk Music, landing on the 10th position on Overall downloads list and No.7 at Google Play downloads list. Airtel’s property, Wynk was launched in 2014 crossed 1 lakh downloads in 4 days. By February 2015, the app Feb 2015 had crossed 5 million app downloads. In January 2019, Jan 2019 Wynk crossed 100 million installs.
Gaana and Wynk Music both come with premium and ad-supported subscriptions (freemium). However, the challenge for these OTTs in India still remains to convert the monthly active users to paid subscribers.
“If a consumer gets a free option on OTTs, consumers will shift between OTTs but not pay,” said Mandar Thakur, CEO, Times Music at All About Music 2019.
The list of the Top Music Category Apps Worldwide by Downloads was released by Sensor Tower for the month of July 2019.
Following suit with the global music trend, the Indian audience is consuming music on digital platforms increasingly. Increasing internet penetration and mobile device proliferation backed by cheap internet accessibility are the key drivers for this trend. Smartphone penetration in India grew to INR 340 million i.e., 36% of total phones in 2018, up from 33% in 2017 and is expected to further increase to 39% in 2019.
So much so, that Spotify had 20 million new installs between 1st July 2018 and 31st July 2019, making it the most downloaded Music category app worldwide. India was the leading country contributing to 25% of total downloads.
Cecelia Qvist, Head of Global Markets, Spotify, at All About Music this year expressed,
“I am super pleased with the performance in India. We have spent a lot of time preparing for the launch. India is a marathon. We are here for the long run. I see it as a great opportunity.”
Similarly, India was the leading country for maximum YouTube Music downloads too. With 13 million installs, India represented a 2% increase from July 2018 in total downloads of the app. The country contributed to 15% of total downloads. YouTube Music was the second most installed Music category app worldwide after Spotify last month.
Indians on average, spent 21.5 hours per week listening to music which is higher than the global average of 17.8 hours a week. The proliferation of smartphones and lower tariff in data is a common phenomenon which contributed to 55% of the growth and revenue.
Music in India is primarily consumed on smartphones which makes up to 96% of the lot. Thereby increasing the consumption of licensed music. Especially through the consumption of music on short video content on user engaging platforms.
What does it mean for India?
During the first week of Spotify’s launch in India, the app had one million users across freemium and premium tiers.
The subscription model in India was created to keep in-sync with the consumer behaviour of the country which chose to either consume music without paying and/or especially through the most convenient free site, YouTube.
However, the challenge still remains to convert the ad-supported subscribers to paid ones. Currently, not even 1% of monthly active users are paying subscribers in India.
Currently, India is a house to 30 OTT players with 10 OTTs dedicated to music. With digital consumption entering the Tier II and III markets, the growth is inevitable.
The majority of new users are expected to be online by 2025, which is close to 300 million subscribers. The highest group of consumers span across the Millennials and Generation Z, which is expected to be the largest group of consumers by 2030.
While the freemium plans that come with OTTs continue driving the penetration of licensed music, however, conversion of the ad-supported user base to paid subscription will expand revenue generation.
Indian audio streaming apps together reached around 5 billion streams per month towards the end of 2018. This was a growth of around 50% from the previous year. 50% of listener-ship was outside the top eight metro cities. 75% of music consumed pertained to music released in the last 12 months.
Understanding the price-sensitive nature of Indian consumers, the growth in audio streaming is expected to grow by 75% by 2021. Backed by telecoms and services offered by these platforms, there could be a better way to create revenue if the premium users shifted to paid methods of music streaming. If the current base of 1% of paying subscribers, shift upwards to 2-3%, digital revenues can propel the Indian music market towards INR 20 billion and beyond.
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