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YouTube Music vs Spotify: The Indian music streaming market is heating up

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Only two weeks after Spotify launched its services in India, the music streaming industry in the country sees another worthy competitor entering the fray in the form of YouTube Music. With the likes of Apple Music, Gaana, Amazon Music, Wynk and more, the streaming music space has become quite crowded, and with the merger of Jio and Saavn forming JioSaavn, the Indian audience has almost too many options to choose from.

YouTube Music is now available in India. Image: Tech2

While it is true that Spotify bags the title of the most subscribed music streaming platform in the world, dwarfing industry heavyweights such as Apple, Google, Gaana and JioSaavn, YouTube Music is backed by, well… YouTube. With nearly 2 billion users on the platform and an infinitely deep well of content to draw on, YouTube is the biggest platform for streaming music. A recent report has indicated that YouTube is the most popular platform for streaming music in India followed by Jio Music and Google Play in 2018.

(Also Read- Spotify vs Apple Music vs JioSaavn vs Gaana vs Google Music: A comparison of services)

In a market as diverse as India, Spotify will find it difficult to serve everyone. Apps like Gaana and JioSaavn offer music in more than 15 languages while Spotify is bringing up the rear with content in just 7 languages. YouTube, on the other hand, has content in nearly every language you can think off because, well, anyone with access to YouTube can upload something. Better yet, the music videos are just a swipe away.

When we come to pricing, it appeared last month that Spotify had done well. The Swedish music streaming service offered packs which start from Rs 13 per day, Rs 119 per month (Rs 129 prepaid monthly) and Rs 1,189 per year. There is also a 50 percent student discount available on the monthly subscription package. Now YouTube has challenged it with a Rs 99 monthly pack for its YouTube Music app and Rs 129 for the YouTube Premium service, which should basically put Spotify out of commission.

Here’s a comparison table listing out what each of the major streaming giants has to offer:

Streaming Service YouTube Music Spotify Google Music JioSaavn Amazon Music Gaana Apple Music
Subscriber Count Unknown 207 million (paid 97 million) 50 million Plus 100 million Plus 100 million Plus 80 million 56 million
Pricing Rs 99 for 1 month Rs 13 for 1 day; Rs 119 for 1 month; Rs 1,189 for 1 year Rs 99 for 1 month Rs 5 for 1 day; Rs 99 for 1 month; Rs 999 for 1 year Rs 999 for 1 year (included with Prime) Rs 99 for 1 month; Rs 999 for 1 year Rs 120 for 1 month
Family Plan Rs  129 (up to 6 people) No Rs 190 (up to 6 people) No No Rs 499 (up to 5 people) Rs 190 (up to 6 people)
Free Features Listen to all tracks with ads Listen to all tracks with ads after every sixth song Listen to curated playlists, Upload your own music Listen to tracks with ads, Lyrics No Listen to tracks with ads, Lyrics No
Paid features Unlimited ad-free tracks, full-range of curated playlists, recommended playlists, Download songs offline, Unlimited Radio, Music Videos Unlimited ad-free tracks, unlimited skips, full-range of curated playlists, Download songs offline, HD Audio Unlimited ad-free tracks, full-range of curated playlists, YouTube Music, Unlimited Radio, Download songs offline Unlimited ad-free tracks, Download songs offline, HD Audio Unlimited ad-free tracks, Download songs offline, HD Audio Unlimited ad-free tracks, Download songs offline, HD Audio Unlimited ad-free tracks, Download songs offline, HD Audio
Max Devices 5 5 10 5 6
Offline downloads 50,000 10,000 50,000 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Music Collection NA 40 million plus 40 million 45 million 40 million 45 million 50 million
Android/iOS/Desktop app Yes Yes Yes (No official desktop app) Yes Yes Yes Yes (via iTunes on desktop)
Maximum Streaming bitrate TBC 320 kbps (paid); 96 kbps (mobile unpaid); 160 kbps (PC unpaid) 320 kbps (all) 320 kbps (paid); 160 kbps (unpaid) 320 kbps 320 kbps (paid); 160 kbps (unpaid) 256 kbps (AAC)
Free trial period 3 months 30 days 30 days 90 days No 30 days 90 days
Podcast support No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes
Languages NA 7 NA 15 10 21 NA

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