Cupertino, California based Zyngl (pronounced jingle), is a application for streaming Hindi songs and videos, available on Android and iOS platform. Unlike its competitors, Saavn*, Dhingana, and Gaana, Zyngl is available only on mobile platform. (Hat Tip: Sunil Nair via Twitter)
Using the app
We found the app to be quite intuitive and clutter free. The app’s home screen is highly optimized for music discovery with Zyngl picked featured collection on the top and new releases, top songs, top collections utilizing the majority of the homescreen. The homescreen also features Zyngl live, an upcoming and dormant feature, which will probably be its version of Radio. Why have the feature on the homescreen if it doesn’t work yet?
The app has a universal search feature where users can search albums, songs, and artists. It stores user’s search history to assist with suggestions during their next search, however, it does not provide suggestions in the search bar as the user types. We found the search results to be satisfactory.
In the player, the large size album art with large player control buttons are a welcome change, and visually pleasing. The player also displays song info including the name of the song, album, lyricists, singers, and music director, which can be easily toggled to show or hide the info. Users can favorite a song or add it to a new or existing playlist from within the player. Apart from that, users can also access video of the song from the player. Video streams are available in 240p, 360p, 480p and 720p formats, while the player plays the video in 360p as a default video stream.
Social Integration & Account Creation
Users can connect their Facebook account with the app to dedicate songs with a message to their 10 Facebook friends at a time, which appears as a link on their Facebook wall. The app creates an account on the site once the user connects the app with their Facebook account. The entire process is so flawless that one does not realize that the app has even created an identity with Zyngl. It’s only when you dedicate a song to your friends, you’ll realize about your profile. Though the Zyngl is entirely a mobile based app, the site hosts dedicated songs on its website. A user’s friends can stream the music from the link provided on the Facebook post.
The app does not have Twitter integration nor does it have an option to post the song on users own Facebook wall. Another feature missing from the app is ability to access ones history.
The app comprises of wide range of music from old classics to newly released songs. We have contacted Zyngl to learn more about the licencing deals it has signed with music labels and would update the post once we receive a response. Contrary to its name, Zyngl’s app also serves Hindi music beyond Bollywood. Its competitors Saavn and Gaana.com also serves International music, and Saavn also streams music in Hindi (not just Bollywood), Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Gujarati language.
Users can stream music for free while the app serves ads on the app. We found the ads to be non-intrusive and easy to remove in case a user wants to hide them.
While the app serves ads, we are skeptical whether the ads alone will help the music streaming site become profitable, since the firm has to sign up hefty licencing deals with the music labels and also cover bandwidth cost. Sooner or later, the app might have to come up with a freemium model.
Another interesting thing to note here is that three out of four major music streaming apps/site focused on India are based in the US, probably because raising funds is relatively easier in the US. We have contacted Zyngl whether they have raised any funding and would update the post once we receive a response.