Comparing Spotify, JioSaavn, Gaana and Amazon Music — which one makes sense for you

Spotify's music streaming service launched in India on February 26Flickr


  • Spotify just launched its app in India that will going up against JioSaavn, Amazon Music, Gaana and other music streaming services that are already available in the country.
  • Spotify is confident that their pricing strategy is customised for the Indian market but a comparison shows that Gaana and JioSaavn are still cheaper.
  • Other than their pricing strategy, Spotify has also tried to localise the app for the Indian market and its users and we’ve compared them to the features available on others apps.
Spotify just launched its music streaming app in India, featuring a wide catalogue of playlists with regional as well as international content. Amarjit Singh Batra, the Managing Director at Spotify India asserts that the has a long-terms vision for India and they’re here to stay.

“India is a market which is big and we have a long term point of view. We wanted to build a local team and make local people available here in India.”

Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director, Spotify India

Considering that Spotify has over 207 million active users worldwide, one has to wonder whether its competitors in the Indian market — JioSaavn, Amazon Music, Gaana, Google Music, and Apple Music — have anything to worry about.

Akshat Harbola, head of Business Operations and Strategy at Spotify, is confident that Spotify’s pricing strategy is on the mark in the Indian market since it represents a matrix that centers around different customer segments and the different way that customers prefer to pay.


Aside from Apple Music and Amazon Music which only offer free memberships for an introductory period of time, the other music streaming services offer a free version of their app but also paid models that users can subscribe to.

The subscriptions plans across the different apps offering vary not only in the terms of price, but also in terms of duration. The add-ons that you get within the subscription varies as well.



Noting that Spotify’s subscription is a little more customised and varied with one-time payment options unlike Amazon and Apple Music, the disparity in subscription prices still grows as the subscription duration increases.

That being said, Spotify has a few integrations that are unique to the platform. For the example, its the only app that can be played in-app with Google Maps. It's also the only app that's available on both, XBox and PlayStation, making a safe refuge for gamers who like to have their choice in music.


So, which one is better?

Spotify claims that the big differentiator for them — since they were the ones who pioneered the music free model and have over 200 million users across the world — is that it has lots of data around understanding music tastes and behaviours.

"We believe that the recommendation tools algorithms and machine learning have been built up around the understanding of customers around the world. We bring that to the table."

Amarjit Singh Batra, Managing Director, Spotify India

But, the tricky thing about choosing a music service is figuring out which one works the way that you ‘need’ it to work. If you’re looking for video-on-demand along with a music subscription then Amazon is your sole option.

Instead, if you’re looking for a music app that lets you voice search instead of having to type in song names then Gaana is only app to have that kind of feature.

Discerning between the platforms in terms of music choice or exclusives is no longer a very big differentiator. All have international as well as regional options available — but what matters is the size of the library. Not only should the library large, but it should also be updated regularly.

Apple leads the pack with 45 million tracks catalogued in its library as Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Music come in second with an estimated 40 million tracks in their library. JioSaavn has around 30 million tracks and Gaana trails with around 10 million songs.

The Spotify app adds approximately 30,000 new tracks on average each day and has over 3 billion playlists available which can justify the service being more expensive that its counterparts.

While there’s is a lot of clamor around about Spotify’s ‘Daily Mix’, JioSaavn also has ‘Daily Mixes’ on its platform and Gaana has ‘Made For You Mixes’.

In localising the app for India, Spotify is giving users eight language options as well as local artists to choose from in order to customise their music playlists. But Gaana and JioSaavn let users choose from 16 different regional languages.

But Spotify has put in its efforts to localise the app with 'Starring in...' playlists that are centered around actors and actresses in the film industry in India as well as 'Sound of' playlists, which are basically city playlists that tracks whats trending in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.

Nonetheless, Spotify’s plan is to learn fast in India and the team is currently looking at developing more innovative features like the ‘Sound of’ playlists that are city-specific.

Spotify also says its ‘dynamic’ home page — that changes over time depending on what you listen to — has been a hit with Indians.

"This (dynamic home page) is something that people in India felt was very different to the experiences that they have been using over the past couple of years. So, this kind of dynamic, ‘made for you’ experience is something that we feel is unique to us."

Owen Smith, Director of Product Growth at Spotify

Spotify is already available across 79 markets across the globe. Out of its 207 million active users, 96 million of these users pay for a Spotify subscription.

One Plus, Anheuser-Busch InBev and GoUSA will exclusive advertising launch partners with Spotify in India.

Users deciding between which app to pay for can try the free trials ahead of committing to a subscription plan. Spotify and Amazon Music offer a 30-day free trial while Apple Music gives a whole three months of streaming music without any restrictions. Gaana and JioSaavn’s free ‘premium’ subscriptions, on the other hand, are limited to 14 days.

Either way, if you’re looking for tracks in high quality — you’ll have to end up paying for a subscription, regardless of which platform you choose.

See also:
Spotify silently launches in India with premium membership options starting at ₹13

Another thorn in Spotify’s side ahead of its India launch

Spotify confirms several mysterious, non-existent artists racked up thousands of listens on hijacked playlists
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