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.

Music Apps India


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…

  1. maaran says

    amazon music, spotify and sometime youtube music works completely fine and have great user friendly app with most of the songs out there.

  2. Harpreet Singh says

    Without any Doubt, Saavn is my favorite music app in India

  3. Shubham Garg says

    Both of them are quite awesome and comes handy.

  4. Jatin says doesn’t carry eros films songs like Piku, however wynk does. So, gaana is a no-go for me.

  5. Ajeet Kumar Singh says

    saavn is better than all.

  6. Amit says

    Is and is owned by same compnay or both are diffrent..?

  7. Mary says

    I tried both music apps Humgama and gaana both offer a variety of Punjabi and Hindi songs which I really like however these apps aim for the pocket book real quick ! Gaana search engine fail and Humgama is ok ! I just want few streaming and to create a Janmin playlist ! That’s all ! I can’t wait to Google comes up with a music app that allows you to stream and save a music playlists created !

  8. Aakash Deep says

    I am currently using Wynk Music app. It plays songs without buffering on my 2G network. But I am facing some limitations. So I want to switch to another music app. After reading this article, I am going to switch to gaana music app. Thanks for this article.

  9. sree says

    I think saavn is better than any music applications.Good collection of Hindi songs.but gaana is poor collection.saavn is better for ever.saavn from smashits.I loved it.dear Hindi songs listeners.pls use saavn

  10. krishna kiriti says

    Hi Arun,

    Just out of curiosity, how do the apps pay for the songs being streamed on their apps. I mean is it sustainable when most of the people are free users and a miniscule of them are paid users.
    Can you please throw an insight on how much these companies pay for the music.

  11. Chintak says

    I have extensively used, both web as well as mobile apps of Gaana and Savvn.

    I would like to list down some of the points:

    About Gaana:
    1. Good collection of songs.
    2. its search engine sucks!
    3. Lot of distracting things on UI. Also UI scrolling is a slow due to many elements displayed on UI
    4. Music Quality is good. However, in free version of Savvn, you can select higher bitrate version of same song for which we need to pay premium in Gaana
    5. battery drains like hell in Gaana Mobile App. (Atleast for me).My mobile heats up if i play for a longer period of time. I own MotoG so considering its specs, Gaana’s app uses a lot of CPU

    About Savvn:
    1. Best part – Minimalistic and easy to use UI
    2. Its search engine is way better than Gaana
    3. Mobile app rocks! – However it too drains battery like Gaana.
    4. Higher bitrate version of song available for free for which i have to pay in Gaana ( 128 b/s)
    5. Songs collection is good as Gaana.

    After using both, i have switched to Savvn for 2 reasons :1. UI 2. Higher Bitrate version of song.

  12. Tarun Singh says

    I have used all the apps listed here except Sound Cloud and found Saavn to be the best.

  13. APN r says

    Hope google music soon captures a lion share from these players.

  14. Piyal says

    One thing you need to consider is how easy to search for a song in these apps. I think Gaana is a great app but searching a song is quite difficult. That is why I prefer to listen songs on youtube. Because within 2-3 seconds I can search a song in youtube. And I also think that youtube has much more songs than these apps.

    Sound Cloud is a great app and different from others. You can comment into a portion of a song and can listen songs of independent artists which are not available on other networks.

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      @piyal I agree with you. Also, I like the new Youtube music playlists, they are great. My problem with Youtube though is when the mobile screen turns off Youtube app stops..because it considers it as video. Yes, we can overcome that, but again you need to have different settings..

      1. Piyal says

        There is another great app called Youlisten. This is a audio only youtube app. You can save video bandwidth and if you turn off the mobile screen it will still work. This app may not be a competitor of Gaana or Hungama but very useful.

  15. Sushil says

    Extremely Nice Wriiten and Very Well Researched Article……….Thanks for article

    1. nachiket says

      Thanks Sushil

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