YouTube has debuted YouTube Premium and music streaming app YouTube Music in India. The launches come just two weeks after Swedish major Spotify Music released in the country amid a legal tussle with Warner Music Group.
Lyor Cohen, global head of music, YouTube, said in a statement that they are hoping to bring the best in global and Indian music to millions of fans across India with YouTube Music. “India is where the multi-lingual music scene thrives. It's interesting to note how Indian artists have consistently claimed top spots over the last few months in the Global YouTube Top Artists chart," he said.
The Indian musicophile’s love for YouTube is undeniable, and the new service, available with a three-month free trial, is likely to play to the advantage of the Google product.
According to Nielsen’s India Music 2018 report, Indian online consumers spend 20 hours a week plugged into music, and a majority of those — 21.6% — access it by streaming videos. YouTube, unsurprisingly, turns out to be the most preferred music streaming service. It is important to note that just 16.9% prefer to stream music through audio services.
That the Indian record label T-Series, which has a large catalogue of music, is just 10,000 subscribers short of overtaking PewDiePie as the most-subscribed YouTube channel is a testament to the preference given to the service to access music in India.
YouTube Music will compete with the likes of Apple Music, JioSaavn, Amazon Music, Gaana and Wynk Music. According to Statista, revenue in the music streaming segment in India would amount to USD 213 million this year. Consulting firm Deloitte has stated that the number of users streaming music here will surpass 273 million by March 2020.
Spotify claimed to amass over one million users within a week of its India launch on February 26. Amarjit Batra, managing director of Spotify India, has said, “With a market of our size, it’s not surprising that India leads when it comes to the weekly average in music streaming. According to the Indian Music Industry (IMI), Indian internet consumers are spending almost 21.5 hours every week listening (compared to the global average of 17.8 hours weekly).”
The premium version of YouTube Music, which is ad-free and allows downloads and background play, is available for Rs 99 per month. YouTube Premium, which lets you enjoy ad-free videos and gives access to exclusive YouTube Originals content, is available for Rs 129 a month and includes a free membership to YouTube Music Premium. Subscribers of Google Play Music will get YouTube Music Premium membership as part of their subscription each month.