India’s streaming market saw a sudden spike when global players entered it recently. Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service, debuted over a fortnight ago while YouTube Music expanded its services earlier this week in India.
Google is doubling down on its efforts in India to counter the competitors with the latest launch of YouTube Music and YouTube Premium services. The former is a music streaming service that was introduced last year and rivals the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music in most countries and, additionally, JioSaavn, Gaana, and Wynk Music in India.
YouTube Music Premium, the monthly subscription model for ad-free music playback with offline support, starts at Rs 99 that is on par with other services available in India. There is also the YouTube Premium service that lets subscribers play videos in the background without advertisements and gives them access to YouTube Originals at Rs 129 per month.
If you see the catalogue YouTube Music has to offer in India, it outdoes most streaming services in India primarily because of the immense popularity of the marquee video app, YouTube. You will find most artists not only from India but also from different countries – something that Spotify lacks for now in India. The reason being the tussle with Warner Music that previously asked Indian court to block the music from its label to be available on Spotify India.
Spotify lacks some popular music from global artists such as Led Zeppelin, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran, let alone the ones that are not quite known in India. Apple Music, Amazon Music, JioSaavn, Wynk Music, and Gaana, on the other hand, let you play music from these artists but there are chances you will still not find music by some lesser artists. That said, if you are a fan of K-Pop, Spotify and YouTube Music could be your best bet.
If you frenzy over Indian music, including regional songs such as Haryanvi, Bhojpuri, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam, Kannada, Rajasthani, and Garhwali/Kumaoni, you may as well pick Wynk Music for its broad catalogue that you not only can stream for free (with the advertisement interruption) but also buy the tracks and save on your phone. All other streaming services do offer some regional songs that are in fashion. But you may have a hard time looking for the music that is something a stickler would appreciate.
You pay Rs 99 per month for YouTube Music, Gaana, JioSaavn; Rs 120 for Apple Music; Rs 119 for Spotify, and Rs 49 for Wynk Music. Amazon Music is a part of the Prime membership that is Rs 129 per month or Rs 999 annually. The annual plans waive some amount off the monthly plan on most services. Spotify even lets you pay-as-you-go with its affordable packs that start at Rs 13 for a day.
Music streaming is becoming ubiquitous by the day, which is why family plans are the best option for those who want to listen to music legally at dirt-cheap pricing. For now, only YouTube Music and Apple Music let you subscribe to the family plans in India at Rs 149 per month and Rs 190 per month, respectively. The family plans allow six accounts to stream music simultaneously, which trickles down to Rs 25 per month and Rs 32 per month for the respective services of YouTube Music and Apple Music.
If you are one of those people who just want to try out their premium service before shelling out some money, trial versions are what you should go for. Currently, the longest trial period you can get is on YouTube Music, which is six months. Apple Music is free for the first three months, Spotify for one month, JioSaavn for 7 days, Gaana for one month. Wynk Music, on the other hand, does not have a trial period.