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YouTube Music has trumped JioSaavn and Spotify in India despite its late entry

A DJ performs for YouTube Music during a conference at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes
Reuters/Eric Gaillard
  • Ananya Bhattacharya
By Ananya Bhattacharya

Tech reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

YouTube may have been late to India’s music-streaming game, but it’s climbed the leaderboard rapidly.

The largest share (25%) of Indians voted for YouTube Music as the most frequently used app to stream songs, a recent YouGov survey of 1,000 Indians between Nov. 25 and Dec. 2 this year revealed.

The Google-owned service launched in India in March 2019, much after global streaming giants Spotify and Amazon Prime Music debuted here. More than halfway through the year, in September 2019, Google Play Music was replaced by YouTube Music as a pre-installed app on Android devices. 

While the usage of most apps was similar for Indian men and women, a notably higher number of men than women use JioSaavn regularly whereas the share of women frequenting Amazon Prime Music is significantly higher than men. 

For close to half of those who use YouTube Music commonly, access to the latest soundtracks (49%) is the biggest reason for indulging with the platform.

YouTube Music trumps other music apps when it comes to sharing music. It lets users share songs, albums, and playlists, and even artist pages.

Meanwhile, its rivals had loyalists for other reasons. For instance, Spotify emerged as the top preference when it comes to personalised playlists, and Amazon found favour for ad-free experience.

A majority of Indians still prefer free versions of apps, YouGov data show. A sliver, one in five, have paid subscriptions. Among YouTube Music users, just 11% chose to pay Rs99 ($1.40) a month for the premium offering.

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