India’s music streaming market set to cross $ 870 million by 2025
Airtel-owned Wynk Music led the app race with 39.4 million downloads in 2021
Rising popularity of podcasts, growth in regional music consumption and emergence of flexible subscriptions will drive the music streaming industry
Like the consumption of videos, the Indian music industry has undergone a drastic change in recent years. Gone are the days when government channels and private FM radio stations were the sole sources of audio entertainment for millions of Indians on the go, while the recorded music industry catered to the rest of the market. But with the internet’s deep penetration, cheap data packs, and affordable smartphones, the limits of the music streaming industry have been pushed back. The Indian market is now teeming with music streaming platforms, with more being launched with each passing quarter.
Despite recent growth, the music streaming market in India is moderately fragmented, with a dozen apps operating in this space.
India had 26.7 million paid music streaming users in 2017, which rose to 51.2 million users in 2020 (the year of the pandemic). That number has further increased to 59.4 million in 2021, according to Statista. The number of users is also expected to reach 87.2 million paying users in 2025.
The country only experienced 4.3% user penetration for music streaming services, well below developed economies such as the United States (30.2%), the United Kingdom (27.5% ), Germany (25.1%), Sweden (24.6%) and Singapore (24.6%), according to Statistical.
How music streaming apps stack up
Music streaming platforms in India are gaining ground due to the growing appetite for on-demand music, the growing popularity of podcasts, and a shift in music consumption patterns due to working from home.
As part of the 8th edition of our annual 2021 in Review series, Inc42 has partnered with AppTweak to understand how these music streaming apps performed this year in terms of downloads, pageviews, app power, etc.
Here are some takeaways:
Wynk Music is the rising star of music streaming apps in India
Launched in 2014 as a free service for Airtel subscribers, Wynk Music, owned by Bharti Airtel, is one of the pioneers in the music streaming space and allows users to download and listen to songs offline.
Currently, Wynk’s premium service is the cheapest on the market, priced at INR 49 / month and INR 349 / year for an ad-free music experience.
Wynk had a 15% market share in 2020, according to market research by Kantar and VTION.
Wynk and JioSaavn led music streaming in India
According to AppTweak, application power is a key performance indicator (KPI) to assess the overall performance of an app in the Google Play Store. It takes into account various factors such as an app’s competitiveness by category and the app store region as a whole.
Interestingly, Wynk Music, JioSaavn, and Spotify dominated the music streaming segment throughout the year, but the power of Amazon Music apps declined during this time. SoundCloud has the lowest app power among music streaming apps in India.
Wynk Music poached most of Gaana’s visits
Between January and November 2021, Wynk Music recorded the maximum number of like views on the Google Play Store – a total of 489.6 million. According to AppTweak, Like Views presents an estimated number of impressions an app gets when it appears under “like apps” suggestions on a competitor’s page. Interestingly, Wynk gained around 30% likes, or 148.8 million, through the Gaana platform.
Gaana, yet another popular music streaming app, recorded the second most like-minded number with 327.7 million. Additionally, it gained around 40% like views, or 131.7 Mn, via Wynk Music on the Google Play Store. This means that around 40% of Gaana’s impressions are from people who landed on the Wynk Music page. Gaana was also the third most downloaded music streaming app in India, with 26.4 million downloads between January and November 2021.
What will drive music streaming apps in India?
With a major shift in the model of music consumption in times of pandemic, the music streaming market will continue to experience growth momentum across India.
India currently has around 15 streaming music players, made up of Indian and international companies. Besides Hindi or English, the main emphasis is on exploiting the base of listeners of mostly vernacular or regional languages. Many Indian apps tap into the country’s rural talent base. Most local players now offer all key regional languages, with Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and Malayalam being the first.
the growing popularity of podcasts (India currently has over 40 players for 200 million monthly active users), the growth in regional music consumption, the emergence of flexible subscriptions ranging from daily and weekly mini-packages to student discounts and widespread consolidation are likely to stimulate this space.
Its adoption may be further driven by technological integration such as AI-based recommendations, personalization, and regional content. However, creating a sustainable source of income with a large number of paid subscribers will be difficult in India as long as free options exist.