Gaana bets big on HotShots; sees surge in subscription base

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on August 18, 2020

Music streaming app Gaana is expecting close to 35 per cent surge in subscription base backed by the launch of HotShots, a short video section, similar to TikTok, within its app.

According to Prashan Agarwal, CEO, the app is likely to have close to 250 million monthly active users by March 2021, up from the current 185 million monthly active users.

“We have grown by over five times in the last four years. From a subscription standpoint, four years back we were at close to 15 million monthly active users and now we are at 185 million MAUs. While there has been an overall growth in the market due to increase in data consumption, however, we have been able to capitalise on this growth by launching products and offerings tailor made to the Indian audience,” Agarwal told BusinessLine.

The company had, in July this year, launched a short video section - HotShots (similar to TikTok) within its app, to offer Indian content enthusiasts seamless and snappy tools to create and share short viral videos. HotShots would offer emerging and established influencers an opportunity to create an audience for themselves. Top influencers and creators including Neha Kakkar, Darshan Raval, Riyaz Aly, Avneet Kaur, Jannat Zubair, Awez Darbar, Anushka Sen, Nagma Mirajkar, Ritz Badlani and Baba Jackson have joined the Gaana HotShots platform to create exclusive content across music, comedy, dance, lip-sync and other categories.

In the past three weeks, more than 300,000 creators have signed up on Gaana HotShots to offer creative short videos, he said.

While HotShots would help shore up its subscription base, music and podcasts would continue to remain its pillar of support and growth moving forward, he added.

Regional content

Gaana has an extensive music library with more than 45 million songs across various languages, podcasts in multiple genres and languages. The company has been investing on developing exclusive content in regional languages. It has content in around 24 languages apart from Hindi and English. Regional content contributes close to 35 per cent of its overall consumption. The category has been growing from just around 9 per cent about four years back.

“We built (our brand) for India in terms of product innovation and localisation and from a content perspective a lot of investments we made to make sure that the regional content grew very well,” he said.

Covid-19 impact

With a majority of people staying indoors in the wake of the pandemic there has been a drop in commute and that has affected the consumption of content on its platform to some extent. However, this has been offset by a surge in at-home consumption.

“Our overall growth has been 10-13 per cent purely on music and podcast and we have also seen a shift in consumption needs of people. Now, instead of listening to party music in the evening people prefer listening to more soothing music. There has also been an increase in motivational podcasts and emotional content consumed on the platform,” he said.

Gaana, which launched its podcast in October last year, feels it could start mushrooming into a full-fledged vertical this year. It has a library of close to 5,000 podcasts across various genres including comedy, devotional and motivational. While it has an aggregated library for podcasts both from India and abroad, it also has its exclusive shows. In the wake of the pandemic leading to a surge in motivational content, the company is looking to launch more exclusive shows under the segment moving forward.

Published on August 18, 2020

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