Times Internet-owned music streaming platform Gaana has raised funding of $115 million from Chinese Internet giant Tencent and Times Internet. Gaana will use the capital to further invest in technology like AI to personalize music experiences for users, and to further develop its subscription product for paying users.
Gautam Sinha, CEO Times Internet, said in a statement that Tencent operates the music streaming business in China, and “we look forward to working closely with them to continue to innovate and drive the digital music market in India.” Tencent is the majority shareholder of Tencent Music Entertainment, music streaming business in China. It also operates Joox, a music streaming platform in South East Asia.
Gaana crossed 60 million monthly users for the month of December, which is a growth of 20% in one month from 50 million active users in the month of November. The music streaming service was incubated 7 years ago by Times Internet, and the company claims that it has grown 700% in terms of consumption in the last 2 years. About 88% of Gaana’s monthly users come from India.
Gaana largely competes with Saavn, Apple Music, Hungama, Airtel’s Wynk, and now Amazon Prime Music.
Amazon Prime Music has signed a content deal with the New Delhi-headquartered music label T-Series recently and has deals with Venus Music, Sony Music, Saregama, and Zee Music Company. Prime Music is currently available to Echo customers in India on a preview basis, however, it’s still not clear when the service will go live for all Prime members in India. Once Prime Music is live, it will be direct competition to Gaana.