Music app

YouTube’s music app overtakes Spotify, its local rivals in India

YouTube has registered more than 800,000 subscribers to its paid services in India since its debut in March, according to people familiar with the matter, overtaking some competitors in one of the world’s fastest growing media markets.

The services have grown faster than rival pay music offerings in India, including Spotify and local players Gaana and JioSaavn, according to people, who asked not to be identified because subscriber data was not released. published. Apple Music also competes in the market, but the number of subscribers has been low-key.

Gaana, owned by Times Internet, has more than one million paying subscribers, according to a representative. But it’s been around for almost a decade and has over 125 million monthly users, who mostly use the free version of the service.

YouTube has long struggled to get users to pay for its services, especially since the company’s main website is all about free videos. But the Google division has started to gain traction, and figures from India suggest it is enjoying particular success in the second most populous country in the world.

YouTube sells two paid services in India: YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium. The music service offers an on-demand song library, much like Spotify, as well as the ability to download tracks, listen to ad-free music, and play songs while using other apps. YouTube Premium offers the traditional YouTube video service without ads and the ability to play clips offline. But music is the driving force behind YouTube’s appeal, especially in India.

The country has become a battleground for online music services, which are eager to sign up users in a country of over 1.3 billion people. Unlike China, where online media services are tightly controlled by the government, India offers an equally massive population without the same level of regulation.

Western companies like Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube are competing with local services and will soon be competing with Resso, a platform from Chinese tech giant ByteDance.

ByteDance is testing Resso in India and Indonesia before rolling out a paid version of the app next year. ByteDance’s abbreviated video app TikTok has over 200 million users in India, enough to be a real challenger for YouTube and Instagram.

Major presence

But YouTube already has a big presence in India, which gives it an advantage as it tries to get subscribers to pay fees. Over 265 million people use the free YouTube service nationwide, making it YouTube’s largest market. India is also home to the channel with the most subscribers, T-Series, the country’s largest record company. Google has invested resources in India in its attempt to find new Internet users and markets.

The growth is also notable as India is generally not welcoming to paid services. The country is one of the poorest major economies, which makes its average citizen very price sensitive. The major free music services Gaana and JioSaavn have tens of millions of users, but few paying subscribers. Representatives for Gaana and JioSaavn did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Netflix Inc, the world’s most popular paid online video service, had to lower its price to be competitive in the country. It introduced a cheaper, mobile-only plan in India earlier this year and said this week it is testing other pricing models.

YouTube has convinced people to pay by selling its service at a low price – less than $ 2 a month – and offering special features to subscribers. People who want to listen to music without actively using the app – a popular feature known as background listening – have to pay for it. The other apps offer free background listening.

Spotify said its Indian service has exceeded expectations so far, although most of its growth has come from users of its free service.

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