Amazon is really cranking up the volume in India. The e-commerce giant has launched its ad-free music streaming service, Amazon Prime Music, making it the latest in a growing line of companies looking to tap the country's increasing appetite for digital music.
All Amazon Prime members will now have access to ad-free music streaming, along with unlimited offline downloads and voice-controlled search with Amazon’s personal assistant software, Alexa, the company said. In the past three months the company has partnered with major music companies like Venus, T-Series, Sony, and Tips Music to build a rich library of millions of international and Indian songs in over 10 languages.
Amazon Prime Music's entry comes soon after Gaana, one of the biggest names in the business, raised $115 million from Chinese Internet giant Tencent.
With increasing Internet penetration and cheap availability of data, content has become the next big thing with audio and video dominating consumption. Media consumption patterns and ad spends across the globe have been gravitating towards digital media. A study by Deloitte says online music users in India will grow to 273 million by 2020, largely driven by the youth. Also, the digital music industry is expected to reach Rs 3,100 crore in revenue by 2020. And everybody wants a slice of the pie.
The music streaming business in India is dominated by players like Gaana, Saavn, Wynk, and Hungama. The entry of a deep-pocketed international company with over 12 million prime users will only increase the competition.
“With ad-free streaming at no additional cost to Prime members, Amazon Prime Music offers a welcome break from text and voice ads that come between you and your favourite music,” said Sahas Malhotra, director, Amazon Music India. “Moreover, with voice controls the music listening experience cannot get any simpler, making music listening delightful, effortless and a natural experience for customers.”
Amazon Prime was launched in 2016 in India and is already climbing to the top of the popularity charts behind Hotstar. “India continues to be a good story for us. We feel that it’s had a lot of growth in the past year. In fact, more Prime members joined India’s Prime program in the first year than we’ve seen in any other country in the history of the world, our world,” the company said when it declared its Q4 results.
Last year, Google launched its Play Music service in India, priced at Rs 89 a month. Apple Music service too is available in India.