According to reports, Spotify has geared up to launch in India as soon as six months.

Now, one local streaming music rival has revealed just how difficult it will be for Spotify to successfully launch in India, even if it comes geared with a perfect licensing slate.

Gaana’s Lead

Upon Spotify’s launch, the streaming service giant will face off against well-established competitors for control of India’s growing music market.

One of these competitors is Gaana with over 80 million monthly users.  Valued at over $1 billion, JioMusic and Saavan merged last June.  Bharti Airtel, a local telecom company, offers subscribers a streaming music service for free called Airtel Wynk.  Reliance Jio, another major telecom company, had also previously offered SIM users JioMusic for free.

Like Spotify, Gaana offers music fans two tiers of service: a free, ad-supported service and a subscription-based model.

The company also reportedly brings in $5 million in revenue each year.  Earlier this year, Tencent Holdings, which owns Tencent Music Entertainment, invested $115 million in Gaana alongside Times Internet, the Indian service’s owner.

Capitalizing on its success in the region, Prashant Agarwal, the company’s CEO, explained that Gaana aims to reach 200 million total users in the next two years.

In the next two years, we think the market will grow from 150 million users to over 400 million users and we would like to lead the market with over 50 percent market share.”

According to Quartz, Gaana may very well achieve this lofty milestone even as its paid subscriber base remains as a dismal single digit number.  At 80 million currently, the company has already locked down over 50% of India’s 150 million music app users. 

The streaming music service has also surpassed all search traffic for music apps in the country even as local rivals Wynk and Hungama continue to flatline in terms of interest according to Google Trends.

Should Gaana gain a 50% share in the next two years, other local streaming rivals make up the rest.  Amazon, Google Play, and Apple Music also have a foothold in the cities even as they’re yet to reveal their total subscriber base in India.


Likes to write about music like she likes to sing; in public but for private gratification.

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