Arijit Singh, Tulsi Kumar and Neha Kakkar are the most popular national artists; Pop, EDM, and Hip Hop the most-streamed genres

Since 2005, the advent of online streaming has wholly transformed the music industry in India. With growing smartphone penetration and digital adoption expected to drive further growth, South Asia’s largest music streaming service JioSaavn has mapped the latest digital streaming patterns across the country to find out what India is listening to by analysing its platform data between January and September 2019.

Pop, EDM, and Hip Hop were preferred by India’s younger audience throughout 2018, following steadily into 2019. New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Pune were the top 5 cities by daily streams while cities like Patna, Lucknow, Noida and Faridabad were among the top 10, indicating that digital music streaming has been creating more significant inroads in tier-2 markets.

Amongst the most positive trends identified by JioSaavn was the growing popularity of non-Bollywood music in the country, where regional language music contributed to 20% of the top-streamed songs.

Songs created by independent artists across genres were also exceptionally well received, thanks to the diverse community of fans who engage with and follow new music produced by indie artists.

Punjabi was the most popular language amongst users after Hindi, registering a 290% year-on-year increase in music streams and registering 2.09 billion streams between January and September 2019. Telugu and Tamil music registered a similar upsurge, growing by  381% and 272%, respectively.

JioSaavn also saw exponential growth for Kannada music listenership, which increased by 593%. There was a massive upsurge in Bangla music, registering the highest growth (826%), in comparison to the same time frame in 2018. Artists such as Arijit Singh, Anupam Roy and Shreya Ghoshal were among the top streamed artists on JioSaavn’s streaming charts.

Factors such as mood seemed to play a significant role in the streaming preferences of Indian audiences, as highlighted by the growing popularity of mood-based playlists and songs. Yeh Baby hit a chord with gym lovers and was the most popular fitness song with over 32 million streams. Apna Time Ayega has been successful in popularising rap, introducing it to newer audiences with over 73 million streams.

Data from JioSaavn also highlighted another interesting trend: the popularity of podcasts and other audio content. A 2018 study by Nielsen India had previously highlighted that, while music remained the streaming option of choice for 71% of Indians, different categories such as sports (67%), cooking (66%), movies (64%), and travel (63%) were also much sought-after. This was supported by the popularity of podcasts such as Kahaani Express with Neelesh Misra, Bhai ke Raapchik Reviews and Talking Music Punjabi on JioSaavn, showcasing how film reviews, travel stories, and talk shows continue to dominate even in digital audio.

JioSaavn also mapped the most streamed artists and songs in India between January to September 2019.

The nationwide popularity of tracks sung by Arijit Singh made him the most-streamed artist on the app. His songs, ‘Ve Maahi’ and ‘First Class’ contributed to this success. Neha Kakkar and Tulsi Kumar were among other famous Indian artists on JioSaavn, while Alan Walker, Shawn Mendes, and Ed Sheeran featured in the top three most acclaimed international artists.

When it came to individual songs, ‘Ve Maahi’, ‘Tera Bann Jaunga’, and ‘Duniya’ were the most frequently streamed tracks on the platform across languages. Pop remained a favoured genre for international music with ‘Senorita’, ‘On My Way’, and ‘Faded’ amongst the most streamed English songs.

In keeping with the high engagement on the platform, JioSaavn users also frequently streamed entire playlists. ‘Weekly Top 15 (Hindi)’ was one of the most popular ones streamed across the country, while ‘All Arijit’ and ‘Taaza Tunes’ also featured at the top. English language playlists were also popular, with users streaming ‘Weekly Top 15 (English)’, ‘Viral Hits’, and ‘The Drop’ regularly.

The data released by JioSaavn highlights the healthy growth of the audio streaming industry and the increasing popularity of online streaming in the broader entertainment landscape. The data also indicate a preference for personalised streaming amongst the country’s growing digital-first audience, underscoring the need for streaming service providers to curate and deliver unique experiences to their users.

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