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TikTok-owner working on a new music streaming service: A look at existing options available in India

TikTok-owner ByteDance is planning to soon launch a music streaming service in India. We look at the existing players in India from Gaana, JioSaavn, Hungama, Wynk, and Apple Music, Spotify to YouTube Music and what they offer

Written by Shruti Dhapola | New Delhi | Updated: November 19, 2019 5:26:17 pm
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TikTok-owner ByteDance could soon launch a music streaming service and the company might introduce this in key markets like India, Indonesia and Brazil first. A report in Financial Times said the ByteDance owned music-streaming service could launch as soon as next month. In India, TikTok’s parent company will be entering a highly crowded space, given the number of music streaming services that are already available.

Even before Spotify entered the Indian market this year, the music streaming space was already crowded in India. There are homegrown players like Gaana, JioSaavn, Hungama, Wynk, along with international players like Apple Music, Google Play Music and YouTube Music. We explain what we each music streaming service offers in India, and what to keep in mind before subscribing.

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Apple Music at Rs 99 per month

Apple Music was initially priced at Rs 120 per month, but after Spotify came to India, the price was slashed to Rs 99 per month. Apple Music has a library of around 50 million songs, and will appeal to those who have a varied music taste, especially for Western Music, though there is plenty of regional content as well.

Apple Music is available on iOS, watchOS, and as an Android app as well as a dedicated app on the new macOS Catalina. Those still using older versions of macOS can use Apple Music on iTunes.

Apple Music now has 60 million subscribers as it trails Spotify

Free options? Apple Music only has one month of free service. After that you have to pay for the service to listen to songs. There is no free plan to stream songs.

Family plans? There is a family plan at Rs 149 per month. Six members of a family can access the service with this one plan. Each family member gets their own library, set of recommendations. Student plans are even lower at Rs 49 per month.

Ads? No ads on Apple Music.

Downloads? Yes, you can download music on the service. Unlimited downloads are supported.

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Amazon Prime Music at Rs 999 per year (bundled with Amazon Prime)

Amazon Music is the music streaming service part of the Amazon Prime bundle. At Rs 999 per year or Rs 129 per month, Amazon is giving customers Amazon Prime Video, faster delivery on Amazon e-commerce website and access to the Prime Music streaming service.

Prime Music has a library of around 50 million songs. It can be accessed on desktop, Android and iOS. Amazon says you can have up to 10 devices authorised to your account. Each device can only be authorised to one account at a time. Just like Apple, Amazon has wide range of music content to offer from regional to Western.

Free options? There’s no free streaming option as such. However, when you sign up for Prime service, you get one month free trial for Amazon Prime which gives access to the Prime Music service.

Family plans? There is no special family plan given Prime Music is bundled with Amazon Prime. As pointed out the users activate the service on 10 devices.

Ads? There are no ads on Prime music.

Downloads: Yes, you can download music on Prime on the Android and iOS app.

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Hungama at Rs 99 per month

Hungama also offers the option for music streaming, though it has video and movie content as well. The monthly cost for just streaming music is Rs 99 per month or Rs 269 for three months and Rs 499 for the entire year.

The Music Pro plan lets users stream music and videos at HD quality with unlimited downloads on the Hungama Music app along with an ad-free experience. Hungama’s library though is 10 million songs, which will seem limited compared to some of the other players on the list, but this is more focused on regional content. Those who subscriber to Hungama Music Pro can use their subscription on up to five devices.  Hungama is available on iOS, Android and web.

Free options? Yes, you can stream music for free on the service without having to sign up or login. You can also choose streaming quality from low, good and best.

Family plans?  There is no dedicated family plan like Apple Music.

Ads? If you are a paid subscriber, you will get an ad-free experience. If you listen to music for free, then there are ads.

Downloads: Paid subscribers can download songs to their phones on the Hungama app.

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Gaana at Rs 99 per month

Gaana is one of the major homegrown players with a cost of Rs 99 per month and a library of 30 million songs. However, students can subscribe to Gaana for just Rs 149 per year. The one year Gaana Plus subscription costs Rs 399, while the three month subscription costs Rs 199. Gaana also has a lot of  regional content and is available on Android and iOS and desktop via the official website.

Free options? Gaana Music also lets you stream music for free. Once again, you do not have to sign up or login to play free songs. While streaming for free users can choose between HD, High, Medium and Low quality options.

Family plans? Gaana Music’s paid subscription does not have a family plan.

Ads? The free version has ads, the paid version is ad-free.

Downloads: Paid subscribers can download the songs on their Android or iOS devices on the Gaana app. It supports unlimited downloads.

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JioSaavn at Rs 99 per month

JioSaavn is the music streaming service with 50 million songs, and 16 languages supported. The service is available on Android and iOS and the website. There’s a Windows app as well for Windows 10 devices. The paid service for JioSaavn is called JioSaavn Pro and costs Rs 99 per month. JioSaavn also has a lot of original podcasts and other shows. The service allows for simultaneous listening on five devices.

Free options? There is a free music streaming service option, and you can even choose the streaming quality from low at 16kbps to best at 128kbps in the free option as well.

Family plans? JioSaavn is only available at Rs 99 per month with no family plan as such. But it supports listening on five devices at once. The Pro version allows for streaming at a higher 320Kbps as well.

Ads? While the free version has ads, JioSaavn in Pro has no ads or skip limits.

Downloads? JioSaavn supports unlimited downloads on Android and iOS, but in the Pro version only.

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Spotify at Rs 119 per month

Spotify, the world’s biggest music streaming service was made available in India this year and costs Rs 119 per month. Spotify is offering three months free trial if you subscribe to the Premium service. However, there is an option for streaming music ad-free at Rs 13 per day, Rs 39 per week, Rs 129 per month, Rs 389 for three months, Rs 719 for six months and Rs 1189 for the year under the prepaid deals.

Spotify India launch: Subscription starts Rs 13 per day, but you can listen for free too

Spotify is available on Android, iOS, desktop, Windows 10, MacOS, PlayStation, Xbox and even Apple Watch. Spotify’s key feature is the highly accurate and curated playlists, which they create for users based on their interests and listening habits.

Free options? You can listen to Spotify for free in India, but this includes ads. However, you have to signup/create an account in order to access Spotify for free.

Family plans? Spotify Premium Family is a discount subscription for up to six family members at Rs 179 per month. Each one gets their own Individual Premium account, so there’s no need to share login details. There’s also a Family Mix with music reflecting everyone’s preference. Plan managers in the family subscription can control explicit music for members.

Ads? There are no ads in Spotify Premium, the free version has ads.

Downloads? Spotify Premium supports unlimited downloads for customers.

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Google Play Music at Rs 99 per month  

Google Play Music costs Rs 99 per month in India, and is available on Android, iOS and desktop as well as a Chromecast. Some Android TVs also come with Google Play Music. Google claims to have 40 million songs on demand and the service also lets you set the streaming quality for your music.  It also comes with some of the popular podcast shows that are available on Apple Podcasts as well. Google also lets users upload around 100,000 songs on the service.

Free options? You can stream music on Google Play Music for free, though you cannot download them in the free option.

Family plans? There is no dedicated family plan for Google Play Music in India. Up to five devices can be used to access the Google Play Music library at one go.

Ads? The paid version of Google Play Music is ad-free.

Downloads? Downloads are supported on the paid version.

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YouTube Music at Rs 99 per month

YouTube Music also launched in India this year with a starting price of Rs 99 per month. The service offers option to play music and videos in the service without ads (paid version only) along with access to official songs and albums. It also allows the YouTube song to play in the background even when you minimise the app.  There’s also a student plan at Rs 59 per month.

Free options? You can stream music for free on YouTube.

Family plans?  The family plan costs Rs 149 per month, and users can add up to five family members. However, everyone needs a Google account for this and needs to be 13+.

Ads? The free version has ads. If you get the paid version, it is ad-free.

Downloads? These are only supported on the paid version.

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Wynk Music at Rs 99 per month

Wynk Music is the app from Airtel, which will let users listen to music online for free or download the MP3 file as well. It is also available on Android, iOS and desktop version. Wynk claims to have 60 lakh or 6 million songs from Hindi, English, Bollywood, regional, etc.

The Wynk Premium subscription allows users to stream and download unlimited songs within the app along with an ad-free experience.  For Airtel customers, the special price is Rs 49. It is available on desktop, Android and iOS.

Free options?  The basic version of the service is free, but this comes with ads. You do not need to sign in to play music.

Family plans?  There is no special family plan from Airtel for Wynk.

Ads? Once you go paid, you can stream music ad-free.

Downloads?  Downloads are supported on the Wynk premium subscription in the app.

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