Streaming music: Spoilt for choice?

Nikhil Bhave
Sunday, 11 March 2018

With the silent introduction of Amazon Music, the live streaming music sector in India has just got another very strong player joining the battle for Indians’ ears. While there are already established players like Gaana and Saavn, Amazon is the third International giant to enter India after Apple and Google. The other big two, Spotify and Deezer, are yet to make an entry.

While Deezer is ‘sort of’ there, it is still far more inaccessible, Spotify is available in parts of Asia but not India.

With the silent introduction of Amazon Music, the live streaming music sector in India has just got another very strong player joining the battle for Indians’ ears. While there are already established players like Gaana and Saavn, Amazon is the third International giant to enter India after Apple and Google. The other big two, Spotify and Deezer, are yet to make an entry.

While Deezer is ‘sort of’ there, it is still far more inaccessible, Spotify is available in parts of Asia but not India.

The big advantage that the local players have is that they offer a ‘freemium’ model. You can listen to songs for free, but then you have to listen to ads. The ad-free experience will cost you. Plus these websites also offer exclusive content not limited to the traditional fare: film songs. And the market is growing. Per a report by Deloitte, India’s digital music industry is expected to reach Rs 3,100 crore in revenue while the number of online music listeners is expected to reach 273 million by 2020.

While the disruption by Jio has created doom and gloom for the mobile sector, it has been a win-win scenario for the consumers. Data is now available in more quantities at cheaper rates. That means the streaming scene will now have more buyers as an alternative to the traditional option of downloaded MP3 files, which was very common thanks to the notoriously bad and expensive internet. However, that also meant the usual garbage internet is awash with, had more chance of infecting the devices. This is another plus point for the streaming industry.

Now, if only they can do something about the prices. After all, making stuff affordable is one sure-shot way to avoid copyright infringement.

One of the biggest advantages Amazon has over its rivals is that it comes bundled with Prime video. So, you are essentially getting two services for the price of one. Plus, obviously, there is the promise of a much better catalogue. Also, a key feature of the Amazon app is that of its AI Alexa, which allows interactivity far better than other players.

The battle is just heating up. There are rumours that Spotify will be expanding soon even as it goes public. The war is just heating up!

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