2010 saw the launch of Gaana.com which was started by Times Internet known for their tech incubator. The application cum website is commercial music streaming service providing free and licensed music. It provides both Indian and international music content. The company recently came into the news by raising $115M from Tencent Holdings Limited. Tencent is a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate whose subsidiaries specialize in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, AI, and technology both in China and globally.
The company plans to use this new capital develop artificial intelligence to create more personalized services and features for listeners. It said also it will develop its paid-user service, too. Aside from a Spotify-like subscription offering, it also provides an ad-based service which is available for free. With the help of the work by Tencent, this seems like the perfect partnership for both companies on bringing up newer technologies and more quality experiences to the application.
This is the ideal time for Gaana.com to add some new innovations to their platforms with Spotify officially announcing their set offices in India. The leading streaming company has been around India for the last year, assessing the Indian market, in order for a potential move. With a U.S. public listing happening at the end of March, it isn’t likely for Spotify to make the move soon.
Tencent has bought into many technology companies before including buying secondary shares in Spotify, the global leaders in music streaming. The Tencent Media Entertainment (TME) verticle has invested into Joox in Southeast Asia and karaoke app Smule. TME is widely-tipped to head for an IPO this year, it isn’t a huge surprise to see Tencent expand its India focus with this move into music streaming.
Tencent also has its hand behind backing many non-music Indian tech companies. Companies in the country that it has backed include chat app Hike, Amazon rival Flipkart, Uber competitor Ola, medical platform Practo, and education startup BYJU’s.
We are happy to welcome Tencent as a partner in Gaana and benefit from their global learnings. Tencent operates the largest music streaming business in China, and we look forward to working closely with them to continue to innovate and drive the digital music market in India. – Gautam Sinha, CEO of Times Internet
Tencent media and Gaana.com also believe that the growing affordability of mobile data and WiFi in India is a huge opportunity for large music and other entertainment streaming sites.
As more affordable mobile data plans are driving smartphone penetration in India, we believe growth in the music streaming market will accelerate. By investing in and collaborating with Gaana, we look forward to bringing more innovation and better experiences to all Indian music lovers,” – Tencent President Martin Lau.