By Asmita Dey Online music streaming app YouTube Music claims it attracted three million downloads within a week of its launch in India. That\u2019s good going. But the million-dollar question is whether listeners will stay tuned because they are now increasingly spoilt for choice: apart from JioSaavn, Gaana and Wynk, there are the global streamers YouTube Music, Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music. India may be a big customer but not everyone wants to pay for their music, especially when plenty of it is already available on radio channels or even YouTube, which comes downloaded with an Android phone. Of the estimated 150 million users, just about 1-1.5 million pay for their music today, according to experts who point out subscription revenues came in a shade below Rs 100 crore in 2018. But acquiring customers can be an expensive affair \u2014 $1.5-$6.5 \u2014 and content doesn\u2019t come cheap either. EY (M&E) director Raghav Anand says without a minimum number of users and a minimum Arpu, it is difficult to defray the high CAC and content costs. The app economics, experts say, begin to look good once there are 20 million steady users paying around Rs 150 per month; while the money is made from 5 million users, 20 million are needed, given the churn can be high at around 60-70%. The way JioSaavn works, the money is being made by telecom service provider from data usage. As of now, apps driven by telcos seem to have an edge given the costs for the others would be relatively high. Girish Menon, partner and head, M&E, KPMG, points out that apps that come with a telco may not, however, have deep insights into consumer preferences. \u201cOn the other hand running a stand-alone app, even if it has deeper consumer insights can be challenging to scale up and requires significant investments in marketing and distribution,\u201d Menon observed. Amazon Music, a pure subscription-based service that comes bundled with the Prime offering, has been launched not so much with the aim of making money but to attract customers to Amazon Prime. \u201cAmazon Prime is using music to drive the e-commerce business,\u201d analysts said. Experts point out the foreign apps would need to invest serious money to acquire Bollywood music, the most popular genre. If YouTube \u2014 the video app \u2014 has been a success it is because there is plenty of Bollywood music available on the platform. Also, as Gaurav Jindal, Principal, at Boston Consulting Group, explains it\u2019s hard to be exclusive and points out that most of the streaming apps appear to have similar content. Consequently, music streaming could form just one component of a bigger package rather than a stand-alone business as is the case with Amazon Music. \u201cEither way from a long-term perspective, partnerships and collaboration will be critical as platforms will require significant financial staying power and an ecosystem approach to create and maintain a strong market position,\u201d Menon said. Today Sing by smule \u2014 an app where users can record and upload music-is the top player in terms of revenue. EY\u2019s Anand believes music streaming with additional features is becoming popular. \u201cYoungsters are willing to pay for differentiated services,\u201d he said. Sameer Batra, CEO, content & apps at Bharti Airtel said Wynk\u2019s deep understanding of consumers and personalisation of the music experience it delivers distinguishes it from other players. \u201cAs regional music becomes popular Wynk\u2019s distribution reach through Airtel, makes it very well positioned to leverage the opportunity,\u201d Batra said.