Mobile music startup Twaang has come a long way since its debut demo at YourStory’s MobiSparks 2012 showcase. Now it has a large online music store, a series of high profile concerts and partnership with celebrity performers, including Zakir Hussain. After having significant success with its Android app, Twaang has recently launched its iOS version.
“We've had a pretty good (and consistent) growth for our Android app, going from zero to 100K users (downloads plus users via OEMs partnership) in 16 months. Most of the initial growth was organic and through word of mouth. We add an average of about 250 new users everyday for our Android app -- this is in addition to the users we get through the OEM route,” says Vishnu Raned, Co-founder, Twaang.
The first part of its strategy was to gain sufficient traction and awareness for the app and the music it carries. Now the app aspires to get two million users by 2015; all this while maintaining its focus on high-quality eclectic Indian music.
Over the past two years, Twaang signed up a number of key musicians in India and internationally as its brand ambassadors. Additionally, it also helps them distribute their music globally across multiple digital platforms. “These relationships align their interests with ours, and helps us reach pre-determined goals,” adds Twaang.
“Ever since we launched the Android app at Mobisparks in 2012, we've been regularly flooded with requests for an iPhone version of the app, and we decided the time was right about six months ago to come out with an iPhone version,” reveals Vishnu.
When it comes to feature, the iOS version is almost identical to its Android version. The startup had also rolled out its premium version. “We had a pre-order running for the premium version of Twaang on iOS and Android, and received over 60 pre-orders for the premium subscription offering (people who have paid a full year's subscription in advance of the app's release),” says Vishnu. This helped the startup to get early conversions and kick-started the cash flow.
Catalogue and partnership with labels and artists
At present, Twaang has a catalogue of over 100,000 music titles, 6000 albums and 4000 artists. It claims to bring the largest collection of non-film ‘Indian music’ across genres like classical, fusion, contemporary, live concert recordings among others to smartphones.
So far the startup had partnership with 40 plus record labels, including independent artists like Shubha Mudgal, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Zakir Hussain, Sudha Ragunathan and Ronu Majumdar. Besides these, it has over 300 plus exclusive albums lined up for release over the next 12 months. “We are also in discussions with some key international musicians/record labels with eclectic world music content,” says Vishnu.
MobiSparks is a perfect platform for mobile based startups
The venture has come quite a distance since its launch at Mobisparks 2012. “On the day of the launch we had a little over 300 users with the first version of Twaang. I think we got a few hundred users at Mobisparks itself,” says Vishnu.
Partnership with OEMs is very fruitful
The partnership with OEMs has worked very well for Twaang in terms of getting user-base traction and drive awareness. “This relationship added almost 50K new users by the end of March 2014, and we expect almost 200K-300K new users over the subsequent 12 months to come through this channel,” points out Vishnu.
Besides paid features, Twaang plans to explore other avenues of monetizing on the unique local (and soon to be global) content it has. “We have started working on a few models and focused our energy on getting paid subscriptions and conversions,” says Vishnu.