Gaana.com is planning to open up its API for application developers to create music apps, Times Internet CEO Satyan Gajwani said at the Nokia Music Connects conference. “We will be working with developers to use Gaana’s music library as a base. We have a partnership with Karaoke Garage, which lets people sing songs and get rated. We want users to find new ways of engaging with labels.”

While he didn’t elaborate on how this will be deployed, in our opinion, it’s likely that Gaana will have to keep the apps within its own app (or website): it’s unlikely that labels will allow third party services to use Gaana as a means to creating their own apps: they like to have control over who uses their music. Opening up its API will give Gaana a significant differentiation over its competitors in Dhingana and Saavn, but it remains to be seen what kind of an incentive application developers will have to create apps within Gaana. Monetization is tricky, but there is an opportunity for branded apps, quizzes, karaoke apps and contests, as well as curated playlists.

During his talk at Nokia Music Connects, Gajwani, and apart from making a pitch for Gaana, by showing Google search trends, of comparison with Dhingana and Saavn, and calling Gaana the largest music streaming service in India, he also made a pitch for the streaming business as a whole, as a means to help labels combat piracy: “The real power of all streaming services, is that for the first time in history, users can access all the music. We were always forced to take a subset – whether through cassettes or CD’s. It means that users don’t need to own anymore. It is no longer is about ownership, it’s about access. The single way we’ll be able to fight piracy is through convenience. We’ll get consumers to shift away from piracy.” The situation is still grim, though: Gajwani pointed out that search query volume for all the streaming sites is still 40 times smaller than songs.pk, even as things have improved from a year ago, where they were around 65 times smaller. “You need to work with services like ours,” he told the labels in attendance, “to collaboratively ensures growth and compensation. Our competition is only piracy. We’re creating value for labels. When you have VAS falling, and we’re growing, and we’re being paid. The only thing we’re cannibalising is piracy.”

“Consumption will drive revenue in the long run, and create communities of users who care about the music. More so in India than anywhere else. In the US you have a pay per download model. If you actually think about the onlylegal way, it s’ going to be skewed towards streaming services.”

Gaana is at 7.5 million 7.5 million monthly active users, and 2 million registered users, who are creating playlists. The number of playlists being created on Gaana has gone up 4x in 2 years, with a new playlist created every minute. Music consumption has gone up 6 times.

Gaana is also planning to release a new app shortly.