Music is a personal choice. And now smartphones help you carry your music with you. Music streaming apps such as Gaana, Saavn, Wynk, and Hungama have made it a lot easier to get access to a huge stash of music, without eating up phone memory or pay big money to buy them.
These music apps all have a free section, where music can be streamed with ads, and a premium section, where for a nominal annual or monthly subscription, you get ad-free streaming and the ability to download music to the device to listen to offline.
Saavn had the first-mover advantage in this space, setting up as early as 2007. Saavn enjoyed a leadership position for quite a while in the online music streaming music app space in India. However, in the past four years, Gaana and Wynk have steadily eaten into its space.
Kalagato, an online market intelligence firm, has been studying the market share of these music apps over the past few months.
Kalagato reports that Saavn has lost as much as 5% market share in the past three months, while Gaana has gained over 9% in the same time.
Where is Saavn losing out? Probably in the mix of music. Despite being around for a longer time, the volume and variety of Gaana appears larger. The genre of music one can choose on the app seems wider. That said, Saavn appears to have a slightly less cluttered interface.
Both apps offer free streaming music and radio service as well. They have a similar pricing structure. A three-month package on Saavn costs Rs 285 or Rs 95 per month. Gaana offers a subscription for Rs 99 per month or Rs 999 for a year.
Besides these two, there is Wynk. This app is offered as a free download for Airtel users, with similar functionality. It has a decent collection of music in English, Hindi, and other local languages, but not as vast. It also offers the ability to set any song as a caller tune on your phone. Despite it being offered free with Airtel, it has been seeing a steady decline in market share.
In terms of attrition, or users uninstalling apps, Hungama, has been the biggest loser. Hungama too comes pre-installed with some Karbonn and Micromax phones.
All the apps have a subscription revenue model, supported by advertising. Saavn and Gaana still have a lot more market potential, as they only have less than 20% of the total mobile reach in India. However, there is more competition to deal with.
Jio Music, which is built in free with a Reliance Jio membership or connection, is steadily building a large database of music. A quick check shows that it does have most of the popular music content already.
Existing players need to keep the party going. While Gaana has been advertising quite aggressively, Saavn appears to have turned down the volume for now.