- YouTube Music entered the Indian Market in March, 2019.
- It has signed up over 800,000 subscribers for its paid services in India.
- The growth is noteworthy because, traditionally, India is not hospitable to paid music services.
YouTube Music, which entered the Indian market in March 2019, has emerged as the most frequently used music app in India. This is despite the intense competition in the streaming space of Indian music, which is flooded with many active players such as Gaana, JioSaavn, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, Google Play.
YouGov‘s latest research report says about a quarter of Indians (23 percent) state that YouTube Music is their most frequently used music app. The report credits access to the latest soundtracks as well as the ability to share music as the main reason to use it.
Since its India launch in March, YouTube has signed up over 800,000 subscribers for its paid services in India, according to people familiar with the issue, vaulting it past rivals in one of the fastest-growing entertainment markets in the world.
According to the people who asked not to be identified because the subscription information was not released, the services were growing faster than rival paid music offerings in India, including Spotify and local players Gaana and Jio Saavn. Apple Music, which has been tight-lipped about its subscriber figures, is the one paid service that might have more users than YouTube.
YouTube has long struggled to get users to pay for their services, especially as the main website of the company is synonymous with free videos. But the division of Google has started to gain traction, and India’s numbers suggest that it is having particular success in the second-most populous country in the world.
In India, YouTube offers two paid services: YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium. The music service provides an on-demand library of songs, similar to Spotify, as well as the ability to download tracks, listen to music without ads, and play tunes while using other applications. YouTube Premium offers the traditional, ad-free YouTube video service— and the ability to play offline clips.
The country has emerged as a battlefield for online music services that look forward to signing up users in a country with over 1.3 billion people. Like China, where government-controlled online media outlets, India provides a similarly 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 Chinese tech giant ByteDance platform.
But in India, YouTube already has a large presence, giving it an advantage as it seeks to get viewers to pay fees. About 265 million people use the country’s free YouTube service, making it the largest audience for YouTube. India is also home to the most subscribers channel, T-Series, the biggest record label in the country. In its effort to find new internet users and markets, Google has ploughed resources into India.
The growth is also noteworthy because, traditionally, India is not hospitable to paid services. The nation is one of the weaker major economies, making prices vulnerable to its average citizen. There are tens of millions of users in the leading free music services, Gaana and JioSaavn, but few paying subscribers.