After Spotify’s arrival in India in 2019, YouTube Music has now stepped into the scene to complete the assortment of music streaming services available in India. This means we now have more competition in the music space which is always a good sign. If you’ve been looking for the best music streaming service in India, most suited for your needs then look no further. We have compiled all the information you would need about each of the music services right here. So without any delay, let’s go ahead and find out the best music streaming service in India.
How Music Streaming Services Compare in India (Updated October 2020)
We did a poll on our Twitter and it shows that users have started to shift to streaming services instead of downloading music locally, all thanks to a widespread and affordable Internet connection (read: Reliance Jio) now available across the country.
So, we thought it would be a great idea to see how all of the streaming services in India, including JioSaavn, Spotify, Gaana, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music, YouTube Music, and Wynk Music compare against one another. We pit these streaming services based on five different criteria, so check it out:
List of Best Music Streaming Services in India
With a 15% market share in India, Spotify is nowhere near the top, but it’s arguably the best music streaming service in India. When Spotify launched its services in India in 2019, it had a patchy start and was embroiled in legal disputes with many music labels. Fast forward now and the company seems to have inked deals with almost all major music studios.
Recently, Spotify resolved its dispute with Warner Music Group, Shemaroo, and one of the largest music labels in India, Saregama. As a result, Spotify has considerably closed the gap in India and now from Bollywood music to international tracks, almost everything is available. Spotify does not put a number to its catalog size in India, but going by the estimates, it’s roughly around 40-50 million songs.
Apart from that, what’s unique about Spotify’s service in India is that it offers an ad-supported free tier. You can easily play any song, artist, or album from its entire catalog without having to pay for a subscription or locked into a shuffle huddle. Besides that, Spotify offers high-quality music (not comparable to Tidal though) at a maximum bitrate of 320kbps.
Moving to the UI, I love the clean and modern interface of Spotify, which is regularly updated to include new features and elements. It features darker aesthetics, neatly laid out playlists, granular settings, and playback controls. The looping videos that appear in some tracks is cool but not favored by all.
Other than that, features like curated playlists, collaborative playlists, private listening mode, the ability to cast music on any device, view song credits, and a lot more. Last but not the least, Spotify has also signed up a ton of partners, making integrations for Instagram Stories, Google Maps, Samsung devices available to its users. You can check out the top tips & tricks for Spotify if you’ve recently made the switch right here.
- Playlists curated by music experts
- Song recommendation and discovery is top-notch
- UI is sleek and modern
- Podcasts available
- Spotify home screen has gotten messier over time
Pricing: Ad-supported Free tier, Rs. 59/month for students, Rs. 119/month for individuals, Rs. 149/month for two accounts (Duo), Rs. 179/month for 6 accounts (Family plan)
With a 24% market share in India, JioSaavn is the second-largest music streaming service in India. After the Jio-Saavn merger in 2018, the platform got a solid boost and now hosts a massive music catalog and you’re free to choose from and stream over 50 million songs, be it western, Bollywood, indie, or regional artists in languages like Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and more.
JioSaavn features a clean and likable user interface. It improves on Saavn’s previous UI and makes it simply better – with playlist, history, downloads, and everything else accessible easily. One of the biggest music streaming platforms in India, JioSaavn retains most of the features from Saavn and builds upon the same with new forms of content.
You now get access to JioSaavn originals, podcasts, and exclusive video content, along with features such as dark mode, offline support, and local playback – but most of them come locked under a Pro subscription. Lastly, JioSaavn offers 320 kbps playback which is on par with Spotify.
- Lightweight UI
- Large music library
- Best of both worlds: India and international
- Annual plan is tempting
- Song recommendation is average
Pricing: Free, Rs. 99/month, Rs. 399/year (effectively Rs. 33/month)
3. Apple Music
Apple Music does not figure in the market numbers, but it’s a solid music streaming service and one that’s constantly improving especially in India. Its personalized recommendations, classic Apple UI, and a huge catalog of over 70 million songs (probably the largest) make Apple Music a strong contender on this list.
On top of that, Apple Music has started offering 3 months free trial in India which is just amazing. Next, Apple Music offers up to 256 kbps streaming and its quality is quite comparable to other services.
As far as the UI is concerned, Apple Music boasts a completely all-white UI, with not much clutter and random options here and there. There’s an Apple-like simplicity to the service and it’s the perfect app for both iOS and Android users. In the past few months, the Apple Music app on Android has significantly improved and now it also offers a web player too which is in beta.
Apart from the neat layout and massive music collection, Apple Music has been known to sport a myriad of cool features. Its daily recommendations, mixes, music video playlists, Beats 1 radio, along with news and sports content are surely some of the best. The service also offers Siri and Apple Watch integration for easier control over your playback.
- Largest catalog of music
- Daily music recommendations
- Personalized playlists
- UI is pretty neat
- Shazam integration
- Slow development on Android app
Pricing: Free trial for 3 months, Rs. 49/month for students, Rs. 99/month for individuals, Rs. 149/month for six users (Family plan)
4. YouTube Music
Coming to YouTube Music, it possibly has the biggest music catalog & there’s a simple reason for it. The service not just brings along the entirety of Google Play Music’s over 35 million song collection, but also gives you the power of YouTube. You can search for and play live performances, remixes, covers, and other beautiful renditions of any song that you like.
I mean, YouTube is vast and it simply makes it difficult for us to put an exact number out there for its song collection but it’s huge. YouTube Music can be seen as a service mainly for users who love the energy of live performances, covers by up-and-coming artists with originals also in tow.
YouTube Music recently stepped foot into the streaming segment in India but has kept its subscription price at par with its fiercest rivals. It’s also offering a 1-month free trial to give users a taste of their service, which sure packs a punch for users who’ve been listening to music on the video platform for years.
In terms of sound quality, YouTube Music offers up to 256 kbps streaming which is pretty good. Other than that, YouTube Music has a major benefit when compared to all other music streaming platforms and it’s really underrated. We consume a lot of music on YouTube so the recommendations on there are already tweaked to our tastes.
This means when you power up YouTube Music, you don’t really need to provide it any info about which artists you like or not. It already knows your preferences and I love that. YouTube Music offers you the ability to switch between audio/video playback seamlessly, enjoy live concerts, remixes, and covers too. My favorite feature, however, will have to be the offline mixtape, which when activated, saves up to 100 tracks to the device based on your liking.
- Knows your preferences
- Recommendations are spot on
- Offline mixtape
- Lyrics support
- Work in progress
- Constantly changing UI
Pricing: Ad-supported Free tier (No background playback), 1-month Free trial only if you choose a subscription plan, Rs. 59/month for students, Rs. 99/month for individuals, Rs. 149/month for six users (Family plan)
You might not be aware, but Gaana is the top music streaming service in India with a 30% market share due to its massive catalog of regional music. The huge jump in userbase came after Times Internet along with Tencent invested $115 million in Gaana in 2018. According to a TechCrunch report, Gaana has more than 185 million monthly active users which is just mind-blowing.
That said, Gaana lags behind their fiercest rivals by a huge margin, with just over 35 million songs under its catalog. A large chunk of their library, especially western music, is missing for this very reason. However, we played some top Billboard top 10 songs and it had all of them.
Coming to the UI and music-playing experience, I found the player screen looks a bit cluttered (even though it has lyrics upfront). Also, the app is packed with features so one might feel overwhelmed. In addition, Gaana supports the highest music playback up to 320kbps which is pretty great.
To sum up, Gaana is the largest music streaming player in India and recently, it got a facelift with AI algorithms for better recommendations, as well as discovery. Gaana also packs features such as lyrics on screen (customizable), dark mode, voice search, and more for the ease of its users.
My favorite feature will, however, have to be the regularly updated ‘For You’ section that extends your playlists based on your music taste. It’s quite resemblant to a feature I love Spotify for and that’s called Daily Mixes.
- Top charting numbers
- Trendy tracks
- Huge collection of Regional music
- Daily Mixes
- Needless short video integration
Pricing: Ad-supported Free tier, Rs. 149/year for students, Rs. 99/month for individuals, Rs. 199/month for three months, Rs. 399/year
6. Amazon Prime Music
If you have got an Amazon Prime subscription then Amazon Prime Music is another potential music streaming service in India that you can use without any extra charge. The service comes free, bundled with the Prime subscription, and offers a massive music catalog of over 50 million songs, be it western, Bollywood, indie, or regional artists in languages like Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and more.
Similar to other music streaming services, Amazon Prime Music offers up to 256 kbps streaming and the sound quality is quite good. That said, I’m not the biggest fan of Amazon Prime Music’s old-ish and clunky design. It feels like you’re using an app developed in the last decade. Sure, there are plenty of modern features and has support for Alexa too, but the UI is generally ancient.
- Huge music library
- Simple and easy to use
- Alexa support
- Cast Your Music
- Ancient UI
Pricing: Bundled with Amazon Prime subscription; Prime membership starts at Rs. 129/month, Rs. 999/year
7. Wynk Music
The Airtel-owned music streaming service, Wynk Music has steadily improved its services and now ranks at the 3rd spot in India with a 15% market share. Wynk Music houses over 10 million songs but you would find almost all Bollywood and regional numbers. The app and the web player has been significantly improved since the last time I used the service.
That said, keep in mind, Wynk Music has a free tier, but it’s ad-supported, even for Airtel users. If you want no ads then you will have to subscribe to the premium plan which costs Rs. 29 per month for Airtel users and Rs. 99 for users from other carriers. In addition, you will also get an unlimited download option which is great.
As for the sound quality, Wynk Music offers a maximum bitrate of up to 320kbps which is on par with other top services. All in all, I would say, Wynk Music is a great music streaming service for users who love Bollywood and regional music in India.
- Best for Airtel users
- Limited music download under the free tier
- Massive library of Bollywood and regional tracks
- High bitrate
- Ad-laden free tier
Pricing: Ad-supported Free tier, Rs. 29/month and Rs. 299/year for Airtel users; Rs. 99/month for other users
Having learned how all of the major music streaming services available in India compare, here’s a detailed roundup (with additional info) of their pricing, sound quality, and overall comparison.
|Streaming Service||Price/Month||Price/Year||Student Pricing/Month||Family Pricing (6 accounts) / Month|
|Spotify||Rs. 119||X||Rs. 59||Rs. 179|
|JioSaavn||Rs. 99||Rs. 399||X||X|
|Apple Music||Rs. 99||X||Rs. 49||Rs. 149|
|YouTube Music||Rs. 99||X||Rs. 59||Rs. 149|
|Gaana||Rs. 99||Rs. 399||Rs. 12 (effectively)||X|
|Amazon Prime Music||Rs. 129||Rs. 999||X||X|
|Wynk Music||Rs. 29 for Airtel users, Rs. 99 for other users||Rs. 299 for Airtel users||X||X|
|Streaming Service||Lowest Bitrate||Highest Bitrate|
|Spotify||24 kbps||320 kbps OGG|
|Apple Music||N/A||256 kbps AAC|
|YouTube Music||48 kbps||256 kbps AAC|
|Gaana||16 kbps||256 kbps to 320 kbps|
|Amazon Prime Music||N/A||256 kbps|
|Features||Spotify||JioSaavn||Apple Music||YouTube Music||Gaana||Prime Music||Wynk Music|
|Song Collection||50 million||> 50 million||> 70 million||50 million + remixes + live performances + covers||35 million||> 50 million||> 10 million|
|Platforms||Web, Desktop (Mac & Windows), Android, iOS, PS4||Web, Android, iOS, Windows||Android, iOS, Web||Web, Android, iOS||Web, Android, iOS, Windows||Web, Android, iOS, Desktop (Windows & Mac)||Web, Android, iOS|
|Offline Support||Yes (all platforms)||Yes (mobile)||Yes (all platforms)||Yes (mobile)||Yes (mobile)||Yes (mobile)||Yes (mobile)|
|Streaming Bitrate||up to 320kbps||up to 320kbps||up to 256kbps||up to 256kbps||up to 320kbps||up to 256kbps||up to 320kbps|
|Simultaneous Device Support||unlimited (playback one at a time)||5||10 (playback one at a time)||10||5||4||3|
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Which is the Best Music Streaming Service in 2020?
Personally, I would pick Spotify as the best music streaming service in 2020. The simple reason is its curated playlists by music experts (and not just algorithms). I absolutely love playlists made by Spotify for every genre out there. The chances of song discovery that matches your taste are pretty high on Spotify.
Q. Which is the Best Free Music App in India?
If you are looking for a free music app in India then I would recommend Wynk Music because it offers offline listening too. Other good options are of course JioSaavn and Gaana.
Q. Which App is Better Than Spotify?
If you are someone who wants to enjoy high-fidelity music without any compression then Tidal is far better than Spotify. It offers a maximum lossless bitrate of 1411kbps which is just out of the world. That said, keep in mind, Tidal is officially not available in India. Apart from that, in terms of song discovery, Apple Music is somewhat closer to Spotify.
Music Streaming: Who Takes The Crown in India?
Well, that’s about everything you need to know about some of the most popular music streaming services available in India. It’s really tough to pick the best of the lot, but I personally prefer Spotify for its massive music collection, podcasts, and smart playlists. And now that Spotify has resolved most of its issues in India, it has become the perfect music app for me.
JioSaavn and Gaana appear to be the perfect option for users who listen to Bollywood music regularly, whereas Apple Music should be your pick if you’re bound to the Apple ecosystem. Amazon Prime Music, I’d state is great because it comes bundled with the yearly Prime subscription and you don’t need to shell out money on a different service. Take your pick and get to enjoying those melodies. Lastly, if you are an Airtel user then Wynk Music is pretty good.
So, which of the aforementioned music streaming services are you currently using and why? If you were to make a switch, which service would you pick? Do let us know your thoughts in the comments below.