When music is on, the world switches off. A simple rhythm holds enough power to make Monday mornings more bearable, workouts more stronger and time fly by a little faster. Over the years, smarter phones brought with them faster networks, making downloadable music fade in the background.
With the ‘streaming on demand’ trend taking over the market and changing the way we consume visual content, international players like Amazon, Spotify and YouTube music are competing for the top spot for music apps.
Big players enter
The soaring success of existing local players like JioSaavn, Gaana and Hungama is disrupted by the latest entrants into the streaming arena like Amazon’s Prime Music, Spotify and YouTube Music. Keeping free features aside, these contenders also offer premium services for which the subscribers need to pay anywhere between Rs 299 per year to Rs 13 a day. But, when the internet has an abundance of free content, are people really willing to pay the extra buck for exclusive content?
Willing to pay
Sruthi Kamakshi, an avid patron of music and a singer herself, feels that the younger generation is definitely game to pay for premium music. “I’ve paid for JioSaavn and Apple music before; I know a lot of my friends who have premium subscriptions and are willing to pay for apps that do not compromise on quality. We are of a generation that pays for monthly Netflix subscriptions, we understand change,” she adds.
Famed abroad for its interactive approach to streaming music, Spotify is what originally inspired the JioSaavn model of making consumer-centric playlists that cater to every mood and occasion. Right before they made their foray into the Indian music space, they extended Spotify Free to platforms other than just desktops.
Even though Indians listen to western music incessantly, they always choose a streaming app that has a good collection of Indian music. “When a new app comes into the market, I get tempted to try it. But, its retention on my phone depends on whether it caters to my sensibilities,” says Vamshi Krishna Doli, a city-based techie who relies on music to de-stress himself.
And what are the perks that one feels compelled to shell money for? These premium versions churn out exclusive content for subscribers, claim to save data and provide offline playback – a feature that phones had anyway, the only given being manually downloaded music.
Even though Indians have switched from transistors to smartphone apps, missing genres can be a let-down. “I am willing to pay for any app that gives me access to music ranging from soul to teen maar, all under one roof,” concludes Vamshi.