The YouTube Music streaming and download service in India includes popular Bollywood Hindi scores and other local-language music, the Mountainview, California-based technology giant said in a blog post. The free service is supported by commercials, while a premium version with no advertisements costs 99 rupees ($1.42) a month.
YouTube is already India’s most popular online music source via its free mainstay video service. In the paid streaming niche, the music app is challenging rivals including Stockholm-based Spotify Technology SA, Amazon.com and JioSaavn, Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s music service. While streaming services have about 100 million users in India, only a tiny fraction of that pays.
Industry sales in India climbed 17 percent in 2017, driven by increases in online subscription revenue.
Google’s free streaming platform gained momentum with music fans by adding a channel for T-Series, which calls itself the country’s largest record label, and which has become the world’s most-watched YouTube channel.