Gaana, Saavn, Wynk or Shazam…Which Music App Is Good For You?
First there was opera, then cassettes followed by CDs and DVDs. We enhance our techniques of listening to songs with each passing year. Currently, we are using music players and phones to listen to music on the go. We are stepping in the era of cloud storage of music and online streaming on websites or apps. Is this the future? At first look, it seems to be.
For the past 12 to 18 months, mobile application stores have been flooded with tons of online music streaming apps. Some people relish music with the Gaana app, some go for Guevara Music and some party with Hungama. But the question as to which of these apps is better persists till date?
Our exploration of all the leading music apps used by Indian users revealed some interesting information. Here is a look at what we found.
Internet connectivity and data consumption
The foremost need of any online songs app is a proper internet connection. Considering the data connection speed (and prices) in India, use of these apps is mostly restricted to Wi-Fi only. Gaana, Saavn, Wynk Music, Guevara Music, Shazam, Hungama, Sound Cloud are the apps that perform well with a Wi-Fi connection.
Music streaming on all these apps is quite good with Wi-Fi connectivity. However, I wanted to test the functionality of these apps on mobile internet data, both 2G and 3G. Having done so, the results with 2G connection proved to be the worst. There is no app that streams a full song without buffering (I played the same song for all the apps). A better performer among these apps was Saavn, where I faced least interruption while playing a song.
Now let’s talk about the functioning of these apps with 3G connections. First I tried streaming a song on Saavn (3G connection) and it performed better as compared to streaming with 2G connection. Performance of apps becomes more efficient with a 3G connection. Gaana and Sound Cloud run excellently on 3G network (I used Vodafone 3G network).
There is no issue of data consumption for Wi-Fi network, but it arises when you use 3G mobile network. Various apps consume various amounts of data. Saavn, Gaana and Guevara Music consumed approximately 0.5 MB per minute for song streaming while Hungama and Wynk music consumed nearly 1 MB for one minute streaming. However, one thing to note is higher data consumption can also mean that they are streaming music at higher bitrate, which also means better clarity!
To avoid greater data consumption, you can cache the played song and listen to it again and again without spending data.
Song Collections and Special Features
Gaana has 3 million songs in their directory while Wynk claims availability of 1.8 million songs for streaming. Evaluating these apps on the basis of their song collection, all apps have a decent amount of songs on offer.
All apps including Gaana, Saavn, Hungama, Wynk Music have similar collection features as they provide an array of songs categories ranging from contemporary music to old Hindi songs. All these apps have sections according to language, genre, artists and period. Users can create their own playlist on these apps and can also follow others’ playlists.
Talking about special features, Guevara Music – as the name suggests, provides some rebel music of various independent bands from across the world. Shazam provides song detection facility where you can identify any song playing on the radio, TV or internet. Gaana’s collaboration with Radio Mirchi helps us experience various song genres at one place.
The most delightful feature is provided by Sound Cloud, where many independent artists put up their creations and the user can listen to their favourite artist’s new composition on the go.
You need to pay some money to the app provider for song downloads and listening to the songs offline. In the paid version, you can download songs easily and enjoy them offline. The paid version of these apps provides ad free service.
The approximate cost of such apps is rupees 120 per month. Gaana costs $1.99 per month while Saavn Pro’s two versions are available for Rs. 110 per month and Rs. 220 per month for Indian users.
Wynk Freedom subscription is available to Airtel 3G customers at the cost of Rs. 129 per month only, where they can listen to and download unlimited songs without spending data.
Target audience and marketing strategies
The first thing we understand on the scrutiny of all these music apps is that they have targeted the youth. Their advertising pattern prominently showcases the idea behind it. The first TV commercial of Gaana – taken over by Times Internet this year, directly focuses on the youth. Now, even Saavn and Wynk Music TV commercials are being aired. Shazam made their TV commercial two years ago and targeted people who wanted to explore every kind of music.
Wynk Music (Airtel’s official music app) targets the customers who don’t bother about data pack prices. Their subscription options suggest that all they want is to draw customers of all ages who want to listen to varied music on the go and without interruption.
Feedback from users
I read hundreds of comments written by users on the above listed apps. The first thing I noticed was that people are using these apps regularly.
Sometimes it is observed that people download the app but don’t use it that often. Here, the scenario is positively different. The reviews I saw suggest people want the facilities offered in paid versions to be incorporated in the free versions.
They want offline streaming and download facilities for free. Users of the paid version are mostly complaining about offline streaming. You can check out some comments of users on Wynk Music, Gaana, Hungama and Saavn.
Overall performance and sustainability
To summarise, the performance of all the music apps is more or less similar with respect to speed, facilities and customer satisfaction.
Taking into account user friendly interface, ease of searching the songs, search by sections, I found Gaana to be a little better than others. Sound Cloud’s collection of unique songs puts it at the top of my list (But SoundCloud may not be right for people who are looking at popular Hit Bollywood songs).
In the future, users will download apps based on subscription charges, download availability and offline streaming.
Talking about sustainability, online or cloud computing is the future and these apps are a part of it. These apps will go a long way if they are updated regularly by the developers. With downloads of all apps crossing 10 million only on Play Store (Gaana and Sound cloud downloaded nearly 10 million times on Play Store), and availability of various sound qualities like HD (320/256 kbps)/ high (128 kbps)/ medium (64 kbps)/ regular (32 kbps), these apps have a bright future ahead.
With reducing data usage prices and uninterrupted data connection, we might just end up with 1 GB extra memory space in our phones.
Do let us know which Music app do you like the best among all…