YouTube Music Hits 3 Million Downloads in India in Less Than a Week — Here’s Why This Doesn’t Matter

While YouTube Music celebrates three million downloads, the company remains silent on how many subscribers it actually has in India.

According to a new report, YouTube Music may have found success in India.

To celebrate hitting 3 million downloads in less than a week, the Google-owned video platform reportedly held a massive party on Monday evening.  Local artists who performed at the event Taufiq Qureshi, Akriti Kakkar, Alka Yagnik, Anirudh Ravichander, Badshah, Guru Randhawa, and Harshdeep Kaur.

Alan Walker, a Norwegian DJ and record producer, also made an appearance.

Speaking about the milestone, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said,

Our tremendous scale and reach is why many talented artists and creators across India come to YouTube to share their voice with the world.

It’s why we’re seeing Indian artists connect with fans from Delhi to New York and everywhere in between.

According to Wojcicki, 500 million internet users in India will consume online video for sharing, learning, and entertainment by 2020.  A subscription to YouTube Premium costs ₹129 ($1.86) a month.

Speaking about the platform’s success in the country, Lyor Cohen, the platform’s Global Head of Music, said,

We’re incredibly excited to partner with Indian artists and labels to grow faster and go further.

Executives from other unspecified music labels and prominent personalities from the Indian music scene also joined the celebration.  This includes notable Indian poet, lyricist, and screenwriter Javed Akhtar.

Missing from the event was the company’s actual subscription numbers in the country.  In India, YouTube offers two tiers of paid service – Music Premium, which grants users access to music videos without ads, and Premium, which offers an ad-free experience across the entire video platform.

Yet, Google’s third attempt in the streaming music market has yet to crack into the mainstream.  The reason?  YouTube has yet to provide a compelling reason for current users to subscribe.

Plus, with Spotify’s arrival, and the availability of Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Google Play, the Indian music market remains saturated.

To take on foreign competitors, well-established services Gaana and JioSaavn have recently undercut their prices by 75%.  Both companies now offer an annual streaming music subscription for ₹299 ($4.32).  In addition, JioSaavn Pro and Gaana Plus now cost ₹99 ($1.43) a month, much less than YouTube Premium and Spotify.

With both Indian streaming music giants offering a massive catalog, including songs from the ‘Big 3’ – Universal, Sony, and Warner Music – YouTube Music or Spotify are a tough sell.  Plus, in YouTube’s case, everything on Premium is also available for free.

So what is YouTube Music really celebrating?

Perhaps if YouTube Music hit 3 million subscriptions in the oversaturated Indian music market, there’d be some reason to celebrate.  Until then, however, Google is simply congratulating itself on its latest music subscription product — successful or otherwise.


Featured image by YouTube.