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Guvera, YouTube to fuel music streaming war in India

Across a wide array of interests of Indian consumers, one of the most prominent one is music and with a population of internet consumers close to 250 million, online music is becoming an area of interest for marketers. The recent launch of Guvera and YouTube announcing a paid music service are some of the steps that highlight industry efforts in evangelising this space.

Guvera announced its arrival in India with over 12 million tracks on web and mobile. Apart from the web based Guvera.com, the application is available for download on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Following the entry of Guvera in the India market, Google announced YouTube Music Key – an ad-free music streaming platform. Talks of YouTube’s ad-free subscription services have been doing the rounds lately which are finally taking shape now.

“Starting today, you’ll see a new home just for music on your YouTube app for Android, iOS and on YouTube.com that shows your favorite music videos, recommended music playlists based on what you’re into and playlists of trending music across YouTube,” said Google’s blog post on the launch.

What YouTube is adding to the music streaming world is a library of 20 million songs against 12 million of Guvera.

The Indian market however has enough local players already active in the space. Some argue that Guvera has come a little late to the party as other popular and established platforms such as Gaana.com, Saavn.com and Hungama are already serving consumers in India as pioneers in the business. Industry experts say that there is huge traction for free music streaming platform in India.

“These players can differentiate if they provide exclusive content. It can focus on a niche audience and look into specific genera of music such as rock or local folk music,” said Chirag Shah, a digital market expert.

The main selling point of any service these days is content. It is inevitable to dwell significantly into the content that the platform is offering and furnish it according to taste and preferences of its evolving target group. Guvera has entered the Indian market in with a healthy mix of local and international music content.

The growth of internet has further fuelled the passion for unlimited free music streaming and it would appear that the likes of Guvera and now YouTube’s music service aims to make headway into the market with its official page on the social media platform Facebook backing it. One of the unique features of Guvera that helps it differentiate itself from other music streaming peers is that Guvera can customise the playlist based on the consumer’s mood using the hashtag – #Play.

Guvera has employed the social media platform Facebook reckoning the platform’s second largest consumer base in India. It has been deployed as an engagement tool and will try to leverage on the Facebook audience which will lead to the initial stage of recognition for the brand Guvera in India.

Among the existing music streaming platforms in India, Hungama is the most popular as it allows multitasking. The user can stream music and at the same time indulge into social networking. Features such as mood customised playlist and the navigation panel in the gym mode of Hungama may give Guvera a run for its money in the Indian market.

Some of the music brands that Guvera is closely looking at include Sony Music, T-Series, Speed Records, Universal, Saregama, Eros International and Times Music, which are already enjoy a huge audience among Indian music fans. Meanwhile, YouTube has signed deals with Vivendi SA, Universal Music Group, Sony Corps, Sony BMG, and Access Industries’ Warner Music Group.

Going forward, the Indian market should gear for brands using branded channels as an effective advertising strategy. Brands such as Nikon, Croma and Godrej have already launched branded channels on the Guvera India platform. But there are many others who are yet to leverage on the music streaming platform.