YouTube Music vs Spotify vs Jio-Saavn: Music lovers spending more time on global streaming apps

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New Delhi | Updated: July 8, 2019 4:30:20 PM

Although Spotify and YouTube Music’s users spent less time on the apps in May compared with April and March, it was still higher than the time spent on the local apps.

YouTube Music, Spotify, Jio Saavn, Wynk, GaanaOf the 150 million music streaming users estimate for 2018 by Ficci-EY, just about 1 million-1.5 million people pay for their music today.

YouTube Music, Spotify, Jio-Saavn, Wynk, Gaana. That was the pecking order in May. Global music streaming players seem to have hit the right note as users are spending more time listening to YouTube Music and Spotify than on desi apps like JioSaavn, Wynk and Gaana. Findings by BofA Merrill Lynch and SimilarWeb show that in May, users spent 10 minutes and eight seconds on an average on YouTube Music daily.

YouTube Music debuted in India in March and notched up three million downloads in a week of its launch, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki. Analysts said YouTube Music has an edge as it could capitalise on the popularity of the video app. “YouTube is the single-most used video app in the country. The ability it has to promote adjacent services is phenomenal,” an analyst said.

YouTube Music app can also leverage the fact that the video app comes downloaded with android phones. User awareness is, hence, unparalleled and customer acquisition gets easier, the analyst added. The music app has both ad-supported free and paid versions.

Analysts say apps such as JioSaavn and Wynk, despite being backed by telcos, have not become as popular since using the app-via-telco gateway fails to provide a great user experience. “If one downloads the app, pays for it and then subscribes to it, the experience is better, but in India, customers do not want to pay.”

Jehil Thakkar, partner at Deloitte, says the whole model for OTT (over-the-top) in India is going to be the access model (through the telco tie-ups) as subscription is very low.

Of the 150 million music streaming users estimate for 2018 by Ficci-EY, just about 1 million-1.5 million people pay for their music today. Experts noted that subscription revenues came in a shade below `100 crore in 2018. The app economics, experts say, begins to look good once there are 20 million steady users, paying around `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%.

Spotify came a close second with users having spent 10 minutes and four seconds on the app on an average on a daily basis during the period. JioSaavn had users spending nine minutes and 23 seconds on an average on the app, while Wynk Music had users spending six minutes and two seconds on the app. Users tuned into Gaana for a mere five minutes and 48 seconds.

According to the findings, although Spotify and YouTube Music’s users spent less time on the apps in May compared with April and March, it was still higher than the time spent on the local apps. The data showed in March and April, YouTube Music had users spending 13 minutes and one second and 11 minutes and 12 seconds, respectively, on the app, while Spotify users spent 12 minutes and one second and 10 minutes and 45 seconds, respectively.

JioSaavn’s users spent nine minutes on an average on the app during both the months. Wynk’s users used the app for a longer time in March, spending seven minutes and 33 seconds, but in April, time spent reduced to six minutes and 44 seconds. Gaana lagged with users spending five minutes on an average on the app during the months.

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