16th August 2020;
By:- Shataksh Bhardwaj
Access to music these days have been pretty seemless and easier than the decades that have passed. There are tons of music streaming apps to choose from and then there is also YouTube. Don’t want to seach for the songs online? Just tell the google assistant to search for the desired song. It’s just simple.
Life wasn’t this easy in the 90’s though, you either had to tune in to the radio or go out and purchase tapes or CDs. Still remembering the time when all of us would have to go to a music store to buy the latest release of music. The transition of music from physical medium to online also depended upon the internet and also the most common music format we now know as MP3.
Now the MP3 is actually a digital audio coding format that was made in 1993. It was widely adopted due to its small size and acceptable fidelity especially at a time when bandwidth and storage were not cheap.
Next came the most infamous part of music online, PIRACY. Who can forget the infamous Napster controversy? Napster allowed people to share MP3 files with other users. The company was later sued by the acclaimed heavy metal band Metallica followed by rapper and producer Dr. Dre.
Later local players like Gaana and Saavn (now JioSaavn) took the early advantage in India and started offering Bollywood, regional, and various other music categories under affordable as well as free tiers. However the real start for the attraction towards these services was with the introduction of Jio in 2016.
Bringing dirt cheap 4G connections to budget minded indian audience gave them the starting point to move towards online medium of music consumption. This led to the rise of popularity of YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music in India too.
There are 200 million subscribers of these apps. These figures are taken from February 2020, right before the pandemic, which means that the numbers today are significantly higher. During the same period, Gaana had recorded over 150 million monthly active users while JioSaavn had more than 100 million active users in India. Spotify, which is known to be one of the biggest music streaming names globally, managed to get two million users in just a month of its launch in India back in 2019.
Despite these numbers the music industry for online isn’t up to it’s full potential. While there are a few people who are ready to pay for premium services, the majority still prefers free access even if they deal with annoying ads, since it’s a really small price to pay. That’s also a reason that T-Series holds the majority of views on music available on YouTube. This essentially means music streaming services are going to continue gaining more attraction in the country in the coming years.