We're aiming to tablet 200M active users in the next 2 years: Prashan Agarwal, Gaana

Prashan Agarwal, CEO of Gaana, tells us more about their plans to make the platform more accessible and interactive

by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Published - Apr 26, 2019 8:21 AM Updated: Apr 26, 2019 8:21 AM
Prashan Agarwal Gaana

Having crossed the milestone of reaching 100 million monthly active users, Prashan Agarwal, CEO of Gaana speaks to us about their plans to make the platform more accessible and interactive. “That 10 crore listeners value our offering is humbling. We will continue to innovate to make music more accessible with the increased use of AI-driven algorithms and product innovations,” said Agarwal.

Edited excerpts

Tell us about the audio OTT growth in India? Where does India stand in the space?

Audio OTT space has grown to 150 million users who get on to various music apps on a monthly basis to listen to the music of their choice. This number was sub 50 million even two years back. From that perspective, the market has grown 3X in the last two years.

What is the share of Gaana in the music on demand space?

We currently crossed a significant milestone of reaching 100 million monthly active users. The entire market estimate like I said earlier stands at 150 million to 160 million users so it would be safe to say we are a market leader with a significant market share.

Tell us more about your subscriber base? How do you plan to increase it and what are your targets?

It is estimated that the market will grow from here very fast due to increasing investments in the space. We should grow to 400 million users in the next two years given our focus on content strategy. We do not wish to let go of our market share.

How have investments in advertising grown on platforms like Gaana? Do you see a lot of programmatic advertising for elections?

Advertising revenue for us is growing at 100 per cent year on year. We see more and more takers for audio streaming for audio plus companion formats where you can listen to audio byte and see a companion banner. Food Tech, Video OTT and Politics are three avenues that have been heavily investing in advertising on our platform.

With elections around the corner, political ads are a major contributor to advertisements. As for programmatic advertising, the display inventory on our platform is served through programmatic.

What’s next for the industry in your sector? What new technology or strategy would you employ to get more people hooked to Gaana?

The key aspect that has gotten people hooked to Gaana is our recommendation engine. We will continue to invest in machine learning and data science where we believe that recommendation which powers 17% of consumption on the platform should grow to about 35 % consumption in the next two years.

We are building a lot of innovative features for the Indian customer which is reflected in the fact that we launched translation two years ago, Voice Assistant one year back and lyrics five months ago.

Gaana Video and Artist Dashboard are the two new features we are looking forward to which also essentially points to the fact that we want to be relevant and absolutely cutting edge for the Indian customers. Gaana Video is Gaana’s exclusive vertical video format, built for mobile, and created in exclusive partnerships with India’s top artists. Artist Dashboard is a self-service dashboard for artists to access insights and analytics around how their fans are consuming their music on Gaana.

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