Audio streaming app Gaana plans to expand user base to 500M by 2023; eyes 3X revenue growth

In a recent conversation with YourStory’s Daily Dispatch, Sandeep Lodha, CEO, Gaana, shares valuable insights into the audio streaming app's growth and discusses plans for future expansion.
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Founded in 2012, Gaana is one of India’s largest music streaming platforms owned by Times Internet, which has about 180 million monthly users today, Sandeep Lodha, CEO, Gaana, tells YourStory’s Daily Dispatch.

While Hindi songs continue to remain a favourite among listeners, Punjabi songs, as a category, is also garnering a lot of interest. Additionally, music in regional languages like Bhojpuri and Haryanvi and devotional music is also growing quite well.

“We recently did an Indie fest where we saw a slight rise of independent indie artist music,” says Sandeep. 

He explains although podcasts are gaining popularity quite rapidly, it is insignificant to the overall music listening minutes. The podcast segment contributes a very small portion to Gaana’s music listening minutes.

India is still lagging in the podcast scenario, but Sandeep expects that segment will grow in a few years.

Photo: Gaana (owned by Times Internet)

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of audio streaming platforms stayed stable. At present, he says the user base is stable with no changes in the music listing preferences. In fact, the music listing has been stable for the last three to six months, even after the unlock.

Competing with the likes of JioSaavn, Wynk, Spotify, YouTube Music, etc., Gaana’s focus going forward is to have a 500 million user base in the next two years.

The company wants to focus heavily on the content available on the platform and the music listeners. 

“We want to make sure when the customer comes (on the app), they can find the music quite easily, and when we recommend any music to the user, that recommendation is also best in class,” explains Sandeep. 

Recently, Gaana raised $40 million from Tencent. The company is not raising any more funds but plans to hit the market next year.

Sandeep says, in India, it is difficult to convert a free user to a paid user across different categories and segments. Thus, over the next two years, Gaana plans to invest heavily in advertising measures.

“Our plan would be to explain to the advertiser what we bring to them, and push very hard on the advertising revenue over the next 18-24 months,” says Sandeep.

Gaana’s internal target is to grow its revenue by 3X in the next 12 months. Besides, the audio streaming app will continue to focus on the music segment. “We want to strengthen the platform for our music lovers,” he adds.

Edited by Suman Singh