The competition in the music streaming space is getting intense, especially after Spotfiy’s entry.
Last year, music streaming apps penetrated deeper into the country with as many as 51 percent listeners opting for audio music apps, said a 2019 report by CMR, a media services group.
Betting on this growing appetite, Siddhartha Roy, COO, Hungama Digital Media said, “You will continue to see us go deeper and deeper within the regional experience.”
Hungama Music, in December, launched its original series in Tamil. “We have got another product we are rolling out in Tamil,” said Roy.
The platform registered a 37 percent growth in music streaming sessions since 2017. Time spent in listening to music on Hungama’s platform grew 2.9 times in 2018. “Currently, both browser and apps put together is contributing 42 million active users,” he said
“One of the biggest factors that have led to the growth is that we have continued to go deeper inside India. As more and more users have come onto data services, consumers are moving to streaming-based platforms for music giving us strong growth,” he said.
It is actually the regional growth story that is keeping Roy optimistic about the streaming space in India. According to Hungama Music’s Sound of Fame report, states like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka stream music the most with 16 percent, 12 percent and 10 percent contribution to national stream numbers, respectively.
“We have seen exponential growth in smaller towns and specifically with regional languages. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Punjabi, Bengali, Bhojpuri we have seen double-digit and very extensive growth in these markets. That’s been the big driver,” explained Roy.
Users are showing an increased preference for content that is in their local language. Last year, there was an increasing preference for non-Hindi content with other languages contributing 48 percent to total streams. At 15 percent contribution, Punjabi emerged as the second most streamed language after Hindi, said the Hungama report.
But on Hungama Music, even videos are playing an important role. “People don’t only listen to music, they watch our music because we have got videos also. Music experiences are there on our product and we have a ratio of 90:10 – 10 percent users consume music videos. We use videos to drive the core consumer funnel. As consumers go into paid experiences, that obviously allows offlining but we open our entire video catalogue for consumption as well,” said Roy.
The competition in the music streaming space is getting intense, especially after Spotfiy’s entry. The Swedish audio streaming company, which is aiming to become the leading music app, entered the Indian market last month. However, it is Gaana that is India’s favourite music streaming app, according to the CMR report.
In terms of popularity, Gaana ranks first followed by Apple Music, JioSaavn, YouTube, Wynk, Google Play Music and Amazon Music.
When it comes to Spotify, only 50 percent of those surveyed by CyberMedia Research were aware of the platform and 40 percent indicated that they have given Spotify a try.
When asked Roy whether competition will make things tough, he said, "The evolution of the (music streaming) market has created more opportunities for platforms– Indian as well as international – to grow and expand."
“India is going to grow from roughly 100 million plus users to 300 million users. So, there is a big opportunity for all services to grow,” he added.
In March, Hungama Music had partnered with CoRover to offer users of IRCTC’s Ask DISHA chatbot access to its music service.
What more is in-store this year?Roy said, “You will see a lot of innovation happening on product experiences and art of work on personalisation. One of the big things we are planning in 2019 is to personalise your experience of Hungama Music app. The experiences for users will get more and more customised based on your consumption patterns.”