Music lovers rejoice!! The popular music streaming service Google Play Music may finally make its Indian debut soon. Not only this, the premium ad-free version of YouTube may also launch soon in India. And these are not just mere speculations as users on a Reddit thread have shared relevant screenshots indicating plans of Google.
Many users have also reported getting notification of YouTube Red setting which allows YouTube videos to run in the background.
These users reported that they saw Google Play music results priced in Indian currency while searching for Indian songs on Google. On clicking these results, they were taken to the partial web interface of the service.
The screenshots shared by users reveal Indian albums as well as individual songs by foreign artists priced in Indian rupees. Apparently, Google has priced an individual song at INR 15 where as a whole album can be anywhere between INR 120- 175 depending on the content.
However, Google has not made any official announcements regarding the same. Moreover, many users also tried accessing these pages but were not able to access. Instead, they were taken to the screen with a message- Google Play Music is currently available in select territories. So, it seems like Google might be just testing the service for now with plans to launch on a wider scale later.
Increasing competition in music streaming in India
People have been expecting Google to launch its music streaming service in India for quite some time now. Although as compared to western countries, the number of users who use online music streaming are very few in India.
But like all other internet related services, that number is sure to increase in coming times with an increase in internet penetration as well as speed.
Moreover, the initial success of local streaming services like Gaana, Saavn, and Hungama have also proved that music streaming could become a highly popular service in India. Apple has already launched its streaming service Apple Music in India last year. This could be another impetus to Google to avoid any further delay in the launch of its much-awaited service.
However, there will be some challenges which are not unique to Google. In addition to comparatively less number of users, these services have to keep in mind the price of their offerings.
In fact, the initial prices of Google Play music are higher than even Apple Music. Apple offers individual songs at just INR. 7 and whole albums at INR 70 in some cases. This could vary depending on the content but it is still far cheaper than what Google seems to be planning.
Moreover, those prices might be on a promotional basis which could make actual prices even higher. Since there has not been any official launch announcement, we will have to wait to see what Google has actually planned to woo Indian music lovers.