Gaana.com, the music streaming service by Times Internet recently got revamped with version 3.0 having some major upgrades. Since its launch in January this year, the app has seen criticism for its poor UI, slow download speed and irrelevant search. With this new version, the Gaana team aims to infuse some fresh look and better app experience for its users.
The Gaana 3.0 is all about content discovery, personalization and curation. One of the new section is the ‘Discover section’, which showcases various playlists to suit every mood, occasion and genre, be it romance or dance, happy or sad, party or devotional.
Then, there is ‘One Touch Radio’, which plays continuous music based on a user’s music taste. The smart tech used in selecting the same genre songs further helps listeners in personalizing the app as the recommendation improves with increased engagement by a user on the service.
The home screen is organized into different sections such as New Releases, Top Charts, Editorial picks, and pre-programmed radio streams (Radio Mirchi streams & Gaana Radios), giving it a minimalistic look. The new app design thus displays a better user interface as compared to the previous versions.
Apart from creating their own playlists, the app also offers users an option to see their friends activities and share their music choices with them by connecting with the facebook’s social platform via the app.
However, regarding the usability, we tried out the app on different devices, and its operation varied from fast to slow across them. And regarding its search feature, even though it was fast, its accuracy is still an issue. We got irrelevant and repetitive results for 50% of the song searches we made.
For instance, in the first screenshot below, we’ve searched for the Bollywood movie ‘Baazigar’ almost all the results are unrelated or irrelevant. This is possibly because it is not in the music database. In the other two screenshots, we have searched for the artist Akon. The results displayed have a few songs which feature him, but are not his songs and many songs in different Indian languages. Again a database issue.
With the new launch, the company also reduced the prices for its Paid Subscription service from USD 2.99 to USD 1.99 per month, with a trial period of 15 days. The service allows users to download the songs within the app for offline play and save on data costs along with an ad – free music experience.
”We are totally focused on evolving an incredible mobile experience for music. The new app packed with professional curation, social discovery and personalization take us a step ahead in delivering an easy-to-use service that caters to the varying music needs of our audience across the globe”, said Pawan Agarwal, Business Head, Gaana.
The music service currently boasts 7.5 Mn monthly active users with 2 Mn registered users, and is available on the web, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows and J2ME platforms. With over 3 Mn songs and 969000 playlists, wherein over 98% are curated by the users, the available music catalogue is spread across Bollywood, International and Regional spanning 18 languages and multiple genres.
Gaana at present competes with online music streaming services like Hungama, Spotify, and Saavn and specifically the web service, songs.pk. Whereas Hungama app is pretty cluttered and slow, and offers very less content, Saavn has been facing shortcomings due to the loopholes in its search giving bizarre results to the listener. The graph below shows the interest created over the web searches by Saavn, Gaana and Hungama in past 30 days:
Considering the fate, the music streaming services like Flyte and Dhingana have received recently, it would be difficult to say what lies in future for the Gaana service. However, since its backed by Times Internet, it’s possible that company do not have to fight on the monetization front initially. Also, the company is planning to further collaborate with network service providers like Airtel, vodafone, etc. in future to make the app more cost effective on the user front.
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