20 Sep 2017
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Amazon Prime Music readying to launch in India

MUMBAI: After launching Amazon Prime Video in India, the e-commerce giant is getting ready to bring its music streaming service to the Indian market by early next year to take on the likes of Saavn and Gaana.

Amazon Prime Music, which launched in the United States in 2014, will complement Prime Video.

Amazon is in talks with record labels including T-Series to acquire music rights. The aggressive intent of the company is already being discussed in the music industry.

Amazon-Prime-Music-techAmazon has “acquired our film rights for the coming three years as a part of their Amazon Prime Video service. They are coming up with the music service next year, so they are taking our catalogue for their music service,” the Economic Times quoted T-Series managing director Bhushan Kumar as saying.

“It’s non-exclusive rights, just like we have given to the other music streaming platforms like Saavn, Gaana, Apple iTunes, and so on, for a specific time period… could be two-three years,” he added.

While globally Amazon Prime Music hasn’t specifically looked at music content, in India it is willing to tap the market because of the huge number of potential users.

About 273 million Indians are expected to listen to music online and drive revenues for the domestic digital music industry beyond Rs 3,100 crore by fiscal year 2020, according to a Deloitte report in 2016.

Amazon Prime Music will likely, “look at investing in music review shows, probably launching independent artists, besides buying music rights from all the top music record labels,” an analyst told ET. “We can expect them to shake up the market with competitive pricing and exclusive offers. Plus, they will leverage upon their existing user base through Prime Video and ecommerce.”

Gaana, which has about 28 million monthly active users, will introduce two artists in the next two months.

Gaana COO Prashan Agarwal“We are working on two broad areas,” ET quoted Gaana.com COO Prashan Agarwal as saying. “One is creating music content, like Asha Bhonsle’s show giving music reviews, Shankar Mahadevan discovering hidden gems, albums that didn’t get enough recognition. The other is an experimental side where we internally pick budding musicians and launch their careers through our platform. We will collaborate with labels but these artists’ music will be exclusively available only on Gaana.”

Saavn has around 20 million monthly active users. In India, Apple Music, which charges Rs 120 a month for individual membership services after a three-month free trial, has up to 400,000 subscribers.

While Gaana’s paid version is priced at Rs 99 a month, Saavn’s is at Rs 120 a month.