Music Streaming Apps: Striking the right chords with effective mobile marketing.

Siddharth barman

May 25, 2016

Just when you’re having a bad day, you decide to plug in your earphones and listen to ‘any’ song from a collection of millions of songs right on your mobile phone. Imagine the choice of having free access to unlimited songs at any time of the day; be it the peppy Sugar track by Maroon 5 or a good old classic rock number by The Beatles, all genres available at your fingertips.

Thanks to the gush in innovative mobile technology, music streaming apps came into being! And if you’re a major music fan like me, there hasn’t been a better day for us as these apps have transformed the entire vision of a mobile phone. From a simple handheld device, now mobile phones have become much more personalized and music streaming apps have only deepened the scale of this personalization. People love listening to music and they are open to embracing music streaming services like never before.

It’s as simple as – Define your mood, pick a song and simply stream it.


Rise of new entrants & competition in the global scenario

Harping on the tunes of such a massive demand for personalization, music streaming apps have found a whole new market and they are here to stay. Mainstream apps like Spotify, Pandora, SoundCloud, 8tracks and others, have already carved a niche for themselves in the music app market. With millions of users downloading and using these apps on a daily basis, along with the large scale social media integration of these music streaming apps, the scene looks pretty bright for such apps. Last year, we saw some big players like Apple join the race by launching Apple Music, while even YouTube (Google) rolled out ‘YouTube Music’ to have its firm foothold in the music streaming app business. But things don’t end there.

The music streaming app business is creating new waves with big music celebrities like Jay Z acquiring Tidal and sending out a clear signal that it’s just the right time to invest in this business. Going by figures, a recent market research report by Technavio predicts that the global music market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5% by 2020. This is great news for the music streaming apps business, which interestingly stands a chance of playing the dual role of a contributor as well as a benefitter in this situation.


Features & subscription model

Lured by the bright prospects of growth in the music streaming apps business, many new players have entered the market by fine-tuning their features to get new users. All of these apps have their own set of attractive features like song discovery, curated playlists, versatile genres and many others. Undoubtedly, this has soared up the competitive temperatures in this market with each music streaming app trying to rope in new users by offering something unique under a freemium model or a reasonably priced monthly plan.

Stiff Competition in the global market

But given the stiff competition in the music streaming app market, it has become extremely challenging for such apps to reach out to the right set of users and retain them. Maybe, it is relatively easier for the popular music streaming apps with a loyal fan base to retain their users. But what about the relatively new players?

This is exactly where a sound mobile marketing strategy can play a decisive role.

India’s Music Streaming App Market

Let’s take a look at the music streaming app market in India for instance. While the tempo is high on the global front, the Indian music streaming app scene is certainly not to be left in the dust.

This market offers some really exciting prospects to the new players in terms of experimenting with a whole new diverse catalogue of music and bringing together the rich cultural flavours of international music, Bollywood music and regional music. Running on this business idea, apps like Gaana, Hungama and Saavn have opened up their shops in India. Even some of the major players from the telecom sector like Bharati Airtel and Vodafone have entered this market by launching their music apps. Both Airtel Wynk and Vodafone music are following an aggressive mobile marketing strategy by targeting their own network subscribers and other target audiences.


Not just that. The lucrative potential of the indian music streaming market has also caught the attention of global names like Apple Music, YouTube Music and Guvera.

But even before these players begin to draw their revenue shares from the Indian market, the first constraint for them is to expand their user base.

Our own experience…

To get a head start in the race, most of the music streaming app firms are taking the route of aggressive mobile marketing by targeting users from various regions of India.

Over the years, Affle has helped most of these music streaming app companies in growing their user base all across India by driving specifically targeted mobile marketing campaigns for them. In fact, we have worked in close quarters with apps like Gaana, Hungama, Airtel Wynk, Guvera, Rdio and Saavn, by connecting them to their target audience by leveraging on the strengths of the Affle MAAS platform.


Before starting off with the promotions, our team had strategically planned out the core aspects of user-targeting based on extensive research and audience intelligence data derived from the MAAS platform.

To appeal to the diverse audience of Indian music listeners, it was important for us to understand the specific cultural traits of each region of the country. So, we decided to segment our audience by creating user buckets for 4 zones of the country – North zone, South zone, East zone & West zone.

On the basis of this segregation, we started gathering relevant data for each user segment. Our focus was to get unique insights about the target age-group, user-behaviour patterns, mobile app usage preference of users and then, identify the online portals that are frequently visited by music enthusiasts.

To attain the relevant information about these attributes, we leveraged the audience intelligence derived from 500 million users already profiled on the MAAS platform. Other than that, our past record of running several successful campaigns targeting similar pool of users in India also proved to be extremely helpful.

As per the data, we found:

Music taste

  • The north, west and east zones showed a greater affinity towards listening to Hindi songs.
  • On the other hand, the south zone audience had a strong preference for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam music.
  • Also, majority of the English music listeners were from the eastern & southern zones.
  • In terms of genres, music listeners of the 30-45 yrs age-group preferred listening to Hindustani classical music. While, genres like Alternative rock, pop, hip-hop, R&B were popular amongst the college going crowd of music listeners.

These inferences helped us in planning out the scope of user-targeting and location based targeting of our campaigns.

Selected portals for user-targeting

Music listeners were found to be very active on e-commerce, fashion, social networking sites, news and entertainment sites. Based on this, we narrowed down on the portals required for effective user-targeting.

Predictive user patterns from Affle MAAS

The user data collected from the MAAS platform  gave us important insights about the app download behaviour of users. Based on this, we could figure some predictive patterns about the target audience. For example, we were able to assess the previously used apps or similar apps that were downloaded by the users.

Based on our findings, we were able to create several user-centric campaigns for Gaana, Hungama, Airtel Wynk and others. It also enabled us to deliver a well tailored ad experience for the users based on their interests. 

To disseminate these campaigns, we selected some highly influential direct publishers integrated on the Affle MAAS platform. Our analysis of the digital footprints and behavioural characteristics of the target audience on mobile, ensured accurate targeting.

The campaigns for Gaana, Hungama and Airtel Wynk received an amazing response across all the 4 targeted user zones and were optimized as per their pre-defined KPIs. In terms of the social media outreach of these campaigns, we managed to generate a good buzz around all the popular social networking sites like Facebook & Twitter. These campaigns thrived on user-generated content as lots of users shared thousands of posts about listening to trending songs on Gaana, Hungama & Airtel Wynk.

The success of these campaigns helped Gaana, Hungama and Airtel Wynk, acquire large number of users, increase the number of song plays on the app and attain a good retention rate.

Results fueled by the Affle MAAS platform

For Gaana and Hungama, we managed to help them to acquire an impressive user base, ie. more than a million for both in just under 2 months. On the other hand, we helped Airtel Wynk acquire a user base of more than half a million in just a month with a very impressive retention rate of more than 30%. This was a big leap for any major music app out there, which eventually helped Airtel Wynk cross a milestone of 5 million users within few months of its launch.

In addition to helping these music streaming apps acquire a high quality user base, Affle has also been helping them to monetise their services. A lot of these music apps are now working as publishers with us and their inventory is directly available on the Affle MAAS Platform. Seamless integration of our ad formats with the content of these music streaming apps and relevant ad targeting can help these apps in monetising their services without compromising on the user experience.

Future prospects for India’s music streaming app market

India’s music streaming app marketing is definitely expected to grow further in the years to come. According to a report by consultancy firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., the music streaming market in India is set to touch 273 million users by 2020. With the increasing penetration of high-speed in India and large scale availability of cheap smartphones supported by affordable mobile data plans, music streaming apps stand a good chance of winning the hearts of millions of Indian music listeners.


Are you looking for mobile marketing solutions ?
Connect with the relevant audience & optimise your business prospects. Drop me a line at to explore strategic marketing solutions for your brand using Affle’s MAAS platform.


Mobile Marketing

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