Earlier this week, we debated extensively on how its going to be a tough battle for Apple music here in India. However, latest screenshots of iOS 9 Beta showing Apple Music now reveal, that the Cupertino giant is looking to price its music streaming service at less than $2 per user, in a bid to give itself some breathing space against the likes of Gaana, Saavn and Rdio.
The service, currently priced at Rs. 120 in iOS 9’s beta version, will still be much higher as compared to subscriptions offered by Gaana or Saavn. For comparison, Gaana.com’s subscriptions start at Rs. 99 per month, while Saavn’s Pro offering starts at Rs.120 per month. And while price is obviously a differnetiating factor, Saavn and Gaana also allow users to download tracks once they have streamed them.
Apple Music is set to launch in about 100 countries by the end of this year, including India. In US, it is priced at $9.99 per month for individual and $14.99 per month for family plan. Adjusting for purchasing power parity variations, the service is expected to be available in India for less than $2 per month, a fifth of what it costs in the u.S.
However, if Apple cleverly markets its Family Plan offering in India, it may well be abel to eat up customers from Saavn or Gaana. Reason being, family plan is priced at Rs. 180 per month, which allows upto six family members take advantage of one Apple Music subscription. There will be a free trial period of three months.
In fact, other factors like Apple Music’s comprehensive artist pages, news, 24-hour worldwide radio station named Beats One are also an advantage over Indian music streaming service, which largely remain focused on streaming music. But again, proper marketing from Apple would be required to aware users of these features, something which Apple hasn’t really done for its other hardware offerings in India.
Another feature is Connect, where artists can connect with fans by uploading their music, photos, as well as studio sessions, lyrics and other behind the scenes clips/pics.
More so, Apple Music has a music library of over 30 million songs. It is not clear if Apple will bring its entire music library in India or not. However, looking at how popular western artists in India are, don’t be too surprised if you see all 30 Million songs available for streaming in India.
It will be interesting to see Apple’s moves in markets outside US where there are many established players and also licensing challenges.