Hot on the heels of Spotify’s arrival in India, YouTube Music has also made its way into the country, in what could possibly be a hurried entry. The USP of YouTube Music is that you can enjoy your music in video form for free if you’re okay with your listening sessions being punctuated by ads. As with any other streaming service though, you can remove those ads by opting for the Premium membership.
Like we said, YouTube Music is an ad-supported free music video streaming platform. If you wish to remove those ads, you can opt for YouTube Music Premium, a service that also offers offline downloads and the ability to listen to songs with the screen turned off. This membership will cost you Rs 99 a month. That’s cheaper than the Rs 119 price that Spotify is demanding right now. If you happen to be a Google Play Music subscriber, you will receive access to YouTube Music Premium for free.
Along with this, Google has also launched YouTube Premium in India. This is a version of YouTube that will allow you to watch any video ad-free and with support for background play. More importantly though, YouTube Premium gives access to YouTube Originals, exclusive content made by handpicked creators, that cannot be watched anywhere else. A YouTube Premium subscription will set you back by Rs 129 every month.
There’s a reason why international streaming giants are entering India at a fast pace. According to a recent study, the country offers the cheapest mobile data plans in the world. This, coupled with the fact that a massive number of online payment options have started teaching people to spend online, makes for an irresistible market for any such player.
Spotify’s entry into India has been complicated by an ongoing licensing dispute with Warner Music, which has led to a huge catalogue of songs not being available for streaming. Despite this, Spotify managed to grab 1 million users in India within a week. YouTube faces no such hiccups, and already commands over 245 million monthly active users in the country on its regular video streaming platform. That gives it quite an edge over Spotify, but there are other battles to be fought as well. So let’s see how things shape up in the coming months.