The music streaming app, Gaana reshuffles its leadership, with an aim to scale up the user base. Speaking with Media Infoline, Vivek Pandey, Chief Operating Officer, Gaana says, “Strategy is to scale up our user base and breach the 500 million user mark in the coming 2-3 years, whilst driving up revenues across multiple fronts.”
Being the Vice President of Revenue Strategy and Analytics at Times Internet Vivek Pandey was also managing TIL’s AdTech stack.
Read the full interview here:
Q) With a new role, what new strategy is laying there?
The strategy is to delight customers and win their love and loyalty to help us scale Gaana to newer heights. Gaana has always evangelized audio OTT and given the reach of audio OTT, we want to position Gaana as a platform that has an immense reach and massive potential for expansion.
We aim to expand our offerings and become India’s go-to destination for everything in music. The strategy is to scale up our user base and breach the 500 million user mark in the coming 2-3 years, whilst driving up revenues across multiple fronts.
Q) How are you seeing the audio OTT market, considering the fact that India is still coping with the third wave?
A widespread lockdown and the second wave especially has been a damper for the mood of the consumer and hence the entertainment industry, including music streaming. However, as things have settled down and people are returning to their routine, music consumption during the day either while working or studying has seen a growth.
The flipside to lockdown is that certain formats like live performances, stand-up shows, etc. aren’t being organized, and hence a format of live streaming an event or performance has become very popular amongst audiences.
Q) Do you have any plans to enhance new technologies in the app?
We have set up an internal team on content & product innovation called Gaana Innovation Labs, which is working on a suite of cutting-edge products and content formats at the intersection of music and tech. This team has specialists across content programming, event production, music engineering, and few external consulting advisers tasked to deliver India-specific innovation.
Earlier last year, we launched an innovative new product – dynamic product ads that enable marketers to create hyper-personalized creatives in real-time. Our new self-serve ads platform has also taken off exceptionally well.
Q) What kind of subscription did you receive during the Covid19 lockdown period with the majority of the population at home?
Paid subscribers constitute around 10% of our user base, and the number is growing every year. Paid users on Gaana grew by almost one-third in the past 12 months, mostly powered by new India-specific packs.
Q) What are the current marketing trends that should prevail this year?
While advertising provides scale to the advertiser base, our focus is on offering innovative solutions to brands to increase engagement across specific relevant cohorts of users of higher SEC, users with higher disposable income, travellers, online transactor, youngsters, etc thereby delivering higher ROI for brands.
With that thought in mind, a number of innovative advertising solutions have been created by Gaana to lead the right set of consumers to the client. A number of innovations such as Dynamic Audio Ads, Self-serve ads, and Voice-enabled ads have driven up collaborations and benefits to advertisers thereby establishing Gaana as a premium platform for brands to engage with their audiences.
Q) How was the last financial year for you? What was the impact of the second wave?
During the course of the last 12 months, there has been a significant shift in audience behaviour as well as content consumption patterns. On Gaana, growth in music consumption was observed across India across multiple languages and diverse genres. Besides music, the platform witnessed a healthy surge in podcast content consumption as well.
From a financial aspect, with brands taking a backseat on advertising, the revenues have fairly been constant. We haven’t witnessed significant changes on that front so we are relatively happy. As the country begins to unlock, we are hopeful that the numbers will be as per our projections.