Entertainment Licensing 

Google launches subscription-based music streaming service in India

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Following on the footsteps of Apple, technology giant Google has launched its subscription-based music streaming service in India.

Google’s push with its music service in India comes in view of Apple’s plan to use services as a bait to lure local users ahead of its big expansion in the country. Apple is offering its music services on Android devices giving it a taste of its ecosystem.

The move aims to build loyalty among the subscribers to remain in its ecosystem and take on local rivals like Gaana and Saavn.

Launched on Wednesday, Google Play Music is priced at Rs 89 a month, compared to Rs 120 for Apple Music. Apple, however, has a student plan at Rs 60 a month which looks to engage first-time users.

Google’s move to charge a monthly subscription for customers of Google Play Music also underscores a shift that Indian customers are likely to pay for a service than consume it with advertisements.

“With Google Play Music subscription, Indian subscribers can listen to their favourite music across a variety of languages, including Hindi, English, Tamil and more. This music can be accessed from any device with your Google Account,” said Elias Roman, lead product manager, Google Play Music, in a statement.

“To make the experience deeply personalised, we’ve plugged into Google’s understanding of context and machine learning to recommend the right music at the right moment based on each listener’s preference, place and activity,” he added.

Google, which dominates India’s internet market as most users come online on smartphones that run on its Android platform, is keen to protect its turf.

Its music service is also available on Apple’s iOS platform and on desktop computers, suggesting an ongoing battle between the two technology giants for dominance in the Indian market.

Indian music streaming services Gaana and Saavn have a paid subscription model but they also earn revenue by offering free streaming of music supported with advertisements. Both firms have huge libraries of local music.

Apple has also begun streaming its music on the entertainment platform of cab aggregator Ola and thereby reached out to its over 25 million customers.


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