YouTube Music is now available in India, just two weeks after the highly awaited launch of Spotify. YouTube, subsidiary of Google and part of Alphabet Inc., has launched its own music streaming app in the country. The company has also launched the premium version of its video streaming platform.

Services Offered

The company announced this week that it is launching its ad-supported version of YouTube Music for free in the country. It also launched YouTube Music Premium – a subscription based service that offers background listening, offline downloads, and an ad-free experience. YouTube Music Premium subscription comes for ₹99 a month.

Apart from YouTube Music Premium, the company is also launching YouTube Premium. The service extends offline play, background listening and removal of ads across the entire website. YouTube Premium will include access to YouTube Original programming like Cobra KaiBTS: Burn The Stage and others. YouTube Premium ships with the Music Premium subscription for ₹129 per month.

Competition Intensifies

This is not Google’s first entry into India’s streaming music market as the company already operates Google Play Music. Now, Google Play Music subscribers will gain access to YouTube Music as part of their subscription, the company said.

Music streaming market in India has become the latest battlefield for tech giants. With Apple and Spotify trying hard to consolidate their market share, launch of YouTube Music will only amplify the competition. There are many factors why India is becoming a key market for streaming services. India’s sizeable population of 1.3 billion, many of whom are still coming online for the first time, is a primary reason. The crowded music streaming space in India now includes JioSaavn, Gaana, Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, Wynk, SoundCloud, Google Play, Apple Music and YouTube Music.

YouTube Music Premium versus Spotify

Spotify’s launch was eagerly awaited, but the Swedish streaming giant’s entry into India has been complicated. A licensing dispute with Warner Music led to Spotify arriving without some of today’s biggest artists. But, despite legal troubles, Spotify hit one million users in India within a week of launching.

Unlike Spotify, YouTube Music is fully licensed as it enters India. This is a huge competitive advantage YouTube Music has over Spotify, at least for the time being. YouTube also has a deal with Samsung where Galaxy S10 owners can gain four months of YouTube Premium/YouTube Music Premium for free.

Lyor Cohen, global head of Music, YouTube, in a statement said:

“India is where the multi-lingual music scene thrives. It’s interesting to note how Indian artists have consistently claimed top spots over the last few months in the Global YouTube Top Artists chart. With YouTube Music, we are hoping to bring the best in global and Indian music to millions of fans across India, and give them an immersive music experience, with the magic of music on YouTube”.

India’s music streaming market is expected to hit user penetration of 7% by 2023 from the current 6.5%.With a population of 1.3 billion potential users, half a percentage point makes a huge difference in absolute numbers. With an annual growth rate of 1.6%, revenue from the music streaming industry in India is expected to burgeon to $227 million over the next four years.

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