Times Music has been appointed as a curator on Apple Music and will provide editor curated recommendations for music catalogs available on the latter. Times’ press statement states that it is ‘one of the first few Indian labels’, indicating that Apple Music plans to add at least a couple more labels from India, possibly due to demand or to drive Apple Music adoption in the country.
Times Music will curate playlists across genres like fusion, Sufi, electronica, devotional, pop and rock, and bands like Indian Ocea, Haider, Midival Punditz, Singh is Kinng, Oopiri, Karsh Kale, Nannaku Prematho and Raja Natwarlal weekly. At the moment, Times Music claims to have 12,000 songs in its library and includes Indian and international artists.
MTV India playlists: In October 2015, MTV India became the first local curator for Apple Music, where it would let the latter’s users listen to Bollywood and Indian indie music through curated playlists. The music channel would provide Indie Top 10 series, Coke Studio@MTV and theme based playlists along with plans to introduce music festival, celebrity and seasonal playlists.
Apple Music in India: In early July, Apple Music launched in India and other countries, to be be available on iOS devices, Macs and Windows PCs at Rs 120 per month for individuals and Rs 190 per month for families, after a 3 month free trial. At launch, we reported that Apple Music had 30 million songs in its library and would be available from 30th June 2015 costing $10 a month.
Apple Music has not disclosed how many Indian users it has. In August, it claimed to have 11 million trial members signed up since its launch in June. At that time, Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet software & services, said that out of its 11 million members, 2 million had opted for the $14.99 family plan, which allowed access for up to 6 people.
Times Music and Gaana history: In February 2014, Times Internet acquired Musicfellas.com, an online marketplace for independent artists to sell their songs. In January 2011, Indiatimes launched Gaana.com, it’s online music streaming site. The following April, Times Music inked a content distribution deal with Ithos Digital for the Singapore market, to offer its content on digital and mobile platforms in Singapore including on DRM-free music stores run by Starhub, SingTel and M1. In October 2015, smartphone maker Micromax invested an undisclosed amount in Gaana.
Other developments in online music streaming:
– Last month, MixRadio, the service formerly known as Nokia Music, called it quits after 17 years of operations. It had been bought by Japanese messaging app LINE at the turn of 2014, and just a year ago, and was trying to refashion itself as a messaging service (with Music). LINE Music, its sister concern, remains operational.
– In November 2015, Australian music streaming service Guvera raised $100 million in a round of funding from high net worth families and AMMA Private Equity, to further expand in India.
– In May 2015, Grooveshark shut shop after admitting to not getting licenses from right holders to stream music on its platform.