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Music Streaming Apps: Which One Should You Choose?

Music streaming apps are a great way to listen to your favorite songs. There are many apps offered across India, which one would suit you best?

As technology advances, music streaming is becoming more common and popular. With the platforms available to us today, we have the opportunity to listen to any song on-demand through the use of a number of music streaming apps. These platforms give users access to music across the globe, instantly. Due to the high volume of music streaming apps available in India, it is helpful that consumers understand the differences between these platforms and know which ones are best for them.

Benefits of Using a Music Streaming App

As previously stated, music apps are great for on-the-go listening and quick streaming. For a monthly, or annual, fee you are given access to a streaming platform's entire library, often with the option to also download and listen to music offline. In terms of cost, paying for a subscription to these sites is typically much cheaper than purchasing tracks or albums individually. Instead, you are getting an online service that offers you millions of tracks and the option to organize the tracks however you want.

Music Streaming Options in India

The music streaming business is a competitive market in India, due to local and global players looking to reach the large consumer base. Due to the wide range of Indian music, many of the local options are able to differentiate themselves from international competitors. For example, CyberMedia's recent survey found that Gaana (25%) was the most popular app, followed by Apple Music (20%), Youtube Music (20%) and Wynk (14%).

Graph showing the CyberMedia survey of most popular music streaming services
  • Gaana - largest Indian commercial music streaming service for music,150+ million monthly users
  • Wynk - offers music from 14 different Indian languages.
  • JioSaavn - A merger under Reliance Brands between Jio Music and Saavn, a destination for their diverse regional music
  • Apple Music - Apple Music is the most popular international streaming site in India (60 million global subscribers)
  • Google Play Music - (15 million subscribers worldwide)
  • YouTube Music - allows users to stream music and music videos (20 million global subscribers)
  • Spotify - The pioneers of the music streaming service and are still at the top of the industry globally in terms of subscribers - 113 million total subscribers

Music Streaming Services: Library Comparisons

Graph showing the estimated annual subscription cost of music streaming services in India
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When comparing music libraries for streaming services that interest you, you should focus on the genre of music or the set of musicians you want to have on your playlist. For example, Gaana might have 25% of the songs compared to Google Play Music, but, because it is more focused on local music, it may be a better fit for consumers who have specific interests in Indian artists. Be sure to make sure you do not just look at the size of the music library but the content as well to ensure that it is a good fit for you.

Music Streaming Services: Subscription Fees

The subscription fees play a major role when trying to decide which service or app you want to select. Below is a table comparing the estimated annual fees of each top streaming service by looking at the monthly subscription and introductory promotions offered.

Table showing the audio quality differences of the music streaming services in India

Notably, the most expensive subscription fees are from the international music streaming apps. Therefore, if you are more interested in Indian music, it would be wise to stick with the Indian services.

Audio Quality

All of the music streaming services provide similar audio quality, allowing them to remain competitive. Although Apple Music streams at 256 kbps (kilobits per second), it is not necessarily inferior to those streaming at 320 kbps because Apple Music uses the AAC format which achieves better sound quality than MP3. Further, Apple Music provides 256 kbps consistently, while other streaming services only provide quality as high as 320 kbps when the user manually selects the best quality. As shown by the table below, these are all very similar and only true audiophiles will really be able to tell the difference

Music Streaming ServiceAudio Quality (kbps)
Gaana320
JioSaavn320
Spotify320
Google Play Music320
Wynk286
YouTube Music256
Apple Music256

Getting into Music Streaming

Finding the best music streaming app can be a tedious task. Looking through the library of music, fees and quality of sound offered by the options around you, it is easy to narrow the choices down to something that fits you and your interests. Although some of the prices seem high, purchasing music individually is about the same, if not more costly (albums on iTunes typically cost Rs. 96), and illegally downloading tracks and albums is unwise. Therefore, music streaming platforms make things easier. Hopefully this article sheds some light on these exciting services.

Sahmi Chowdhury

Sahmi is a Junior Research Analyst specialising in credit cards and insurance in India. He previously worked in the financial services sector at Brown Brothers Harriman and True Capital Management.