Mr. Prashan Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, Gaana

Brief Profile:

Gaana, the Indian audio streaming app, well known for its humongous music library, recently consolidated its leading position in the audio OTT sector with more than 185 million monthly users. The app offers a wide range of national and international music, has recently launched Gaana HotShots. As per reports, the lockdown has escalated the audio streaming listenership.

We hopped to Mr. Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana, and had a chat over their latest offerings, lockdown, and much more. Let’s read them over.

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Q) What are the latest offerings by Gaana?

At Gaana, we continue to push the envelope when it comes to innovation in the audio streaming space. We have launched 2 new offerings in the last few months.

GaanaHotShots – Given the popularity of short-videos, we launched Gaana Hotshots feature in the Gaana app, allowing Indian content enthusiasts intuitive, seamless, and snappy tools to create & share short viral videos and our 185 mn users easy access to consume these short videos on the platform.

Gaana Live – We have also launched Live streaming to help singers/artists connect directly with the audience in the absence of Concerts. We have seen huge success on Live streaming with more than 150,000 users attending the DuaLipa Studio 2054 concert online recently.

Apart from the above, we have enhanced our offerings in the podcast segment, striking partnerships with global players such as Libsyn and Triton Digital to bring their exhaustive podcast catalogs on our platform.

Prashan Agarwal Gaana

Q) How is the audio OTT sector doing? How has lockdown impacted your subscriber base?

Gaana saw a 13% rise in music consumption across India, with a notable 12% spike in romantic playlist streams across all age groups and a 14% increase in devotional playlists – even among 18-24-year-olds! Besides romance and spirituality, there has been a whopping 26% surge in workout playlists as people are bringing their gyms home and a 24% surge in motivational or self-help podcasts as they are keeping themselves focused to power through the odds.

In the absence of new movie releases, we have played a key role in connecting users with artists of their choice. Artists, both independent or label-affiliated ones, are reaching out to listeners directly and entertaining them now. Independent music has seen a massive growth through Gaana Originals as well as initiative by leading labels to produce/release non-film music. To further amplify the independent music industry and the artists we launched, Gaana Launchpad – empowering independent singers and bands a chance to showcase their talent to the audience.

Q) Tell us more about Gaana Hotshots. How is it performing both for viewers as well as for you?

The past year has seen remarkable growth in the short-video space. Right from content creators to labels have leveraged the sector to fuel audience engagement. Sensing the opportunity and the in-roads we have owing to Gaana’s reach, we launched Gaana Hotshots. Gaana HotShots is a feature on the main Gaap App and gets access to our reach of over 185 million users. It enables Indian content enthusiasts intuitive, seamless, and snappy tools to create & share short viral videos and stories. Gaana Hotshots aims to offer the best-in-class product experience and a  host of ‘HotShot Challenges’ in the performing arts like music, comedy & dance by HotShot influencers, celebs, and international artists.

Gaana HotShots offers content from leading influencers like Riyaz Ali, Avneet Kaur, Jannat Zubair Rehmani, Awez Darbar & Nagma Mirajkar and singers like Neha Kakkar, Darshan Raval, Tony Kakkar, Jass Manak, Parmish Verma, Maninder Bhuttar, Sunanda Sharma, Mankirt Aulakh, Karan Aujla, Kulwinder Billa, Gurlez Akhtar, Satbir Aujla, R Nait, Sukhe Muzical, Nikk and Guri among others.

Q) Any special plans for independent artists or singers on your platform.

Gaana has always believed in the power of non-film music and empowered the same, providing reach and distribution to these artists. We have also recently launched Gaana Launchpad, which will bring emerging artists in India into the spotlight. To ensure there is constant engagement, Gaana will be organizing a Gaana Launchpad Live Night every Thursday at 7 PM. Through this effort, Gaana aims to identify, acknowledge, and promote talent that promises to make the future of the Indian music landscape an exciting one.

This comes on the back of empowering artists with a dedicated cloud-based Artist Dashboard to learn more about their fans.

Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana

Q) How are you planning to reach out to regional markets?

The music library on Gaana encompasses tracks from all over India. Our in-house teams ensure that through audience insights we cater to the tastes and preferences of subscribers located in multiple regions of the country. Regional music contributes more than 35% consumption on Gaana, which is more than 30x growth in absolute consumption in the last 3 years.

Q) What kind of revenue growth are you expecting in the current financial year considering the pandemic?

Ad revenues have been impacted across industries by the pandemic. We believe that we should be able to get a modest growth in revenues this year.

Q) How are you looking at 2021? What are the Plans and programs?

Currently, only 15% of the Indian population is consuming music online and it’s already one of the hottest sectors among the primarily millennial audience. With music streaming marketing continuing to grow, our vision is to build a home-grown entertainment super app that is ready to serve as the country’s go-to destination for entertainment across music, podcasts, short viral videos, live streaming, and more, offering Indians the power to create and consume content on the back of Gaana’s world-class tech capabilities.

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