Saavn*, an online music streaming service, will be launching a paid subscription service along with offline music playing feature for its users, as indicated by BGR in a story dated February 7, 2013. This new offline feature will allow users to listen to music without internet connection by caching the songs.
According to the report, Saavn has the licence to let users download the songs, however, it doesn’t want to go away with the Saavn experience. Hence it will only allow users to listen to music offline by cashing of songs. It must be noted that the company has music license to stream music in 200 countries across the globe.
Other developments: Saavn recently added English content to its catalog offering its content in six different languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Gujarati on its portal. In August 2012, Saavn had launched a feature phone app, allowing users to stream music on their feature phones.
The company claims that it now has 10.5 million users and has a music catalogue of 1.1 million songs along with music licensing deals that had crossed from 200 labels to 300 South Asian music labels in August 2012. It also has its apps on the iOS and android platform. The company had also launched an open graph API on Facebook in December 2011.
Other paid services:
Paid music services in India have been growing in India rapidly in the recent times. Recently, HP has partnered with Hungama and Universal Music India to launch its subscription based music service called HP Connected Music. In December 2012, Hungama had also revamped its content and website end of last year offering free cloud storage for users.
Apart from that, in December 2012 Apple’s iTunes Stores moved to India allowing users to download and buy music. The store features both Indian (including Bollywood and Tamil films) and International music from all major labels including Sony Music India, Saregama, T-Series, YRF Music (Yashraj), Universal Music India, Inreco, EMI Records, among others. Individual songs at the Apple’s iTunes stores are priced anywhere between Rs 9 to Rs 15.
In February 2012, Flipkart’s digital downloads store, Flyte went live, offering music in MP3 format. The store offers DRM free music tracks starting at Rs 6 with multi device playback support in various bitrates including 64kbps, 128kbps, 320kbps. Nokia also offers music to users through a subscription based model on its Nokia Music service. Nokia offers billing for users through mobile operators like Vodafone, Airtel and Reliance Communications. Aircel has also launched its Pocket Music International service for its subscribers to download full songs at Rs.5 a day. With the changes in TRAI guidelines, music as VAS may become difficult for these players reducing the number of revenue streams for them. Are these music services introducing paid services to compensate for the loss in revenue? Dhingana and Times Internet’s Gaana app* are other music streaming services that offer music streaming for free.
We will be updating this story soon.
*Disclosure: Saavn is an advertiser with MediaNama. Indiatimes, which owns Gaana.com, is also an advertiser with MediaNama.