Special Combating to endure, Tencent-backed Indian songs application Gaana turns to subscriptions

A person listens to audio as he waits for his educate at Churchgate railway station in Mumbai December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar

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NEW DELHI, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Tencent-backed Indian songs streaming app Gaana has switched to a compensated membership product to steer clear of closing down after failing to protected clean cash or find a consumer, according to an email despatched to some tunes associates viewed by Reuters.

Gaana, also backed by India’s Times Internet, claimed in the electronic mail that talks with a possible acquirer had “fallen by way of,” without having naming the other party.

Two sources with immediate expertise of the make any difference informed Reuters the talks were with Indian telecom big Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS). Airtel did not straight away reply to an emailed ask for for comment.

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Gaana competes with the likes of Spotify (Spot.N), Apple New music and Airtel’s Wynk audio application in an Indian streaming current market estimated by info business Statista to be value $700 million this 12 months.

In the email despatched this 7 days, Gaana’s head of content and partnerships, Sachin Kamble, mentioned the firm experienced not been in a position to “bring in new investments” and sought support for a new paid design of the company.

“Now we are at (a) crossroads – wind down/come across a way to continue on … we have made a decision to give this a different check out. That’s why, we have shut streaming for totally free users now and (are) relocating to compensated only model,” Kamble wrote in the electronic mail.

“We will require your guidance on this, else we will have to shut down fully.”

Gaana CEO Sandeep Lodha informed Reuters in a textual content message: “We are not shutting down”. Kamble declined to remark.

Requested about the email, a Gaana spokesperson stated in a statement the information was despatched to audio partners “in the class of non-public negotiations” to close agreements.

“These statements are becoming browse out of context. Gaana is a strong enterprise that is increasing its aim on subscription organization with an intent to be a lasting corporation for many years to come,” it additional.

Tencent (0700.HK) and Periods Web did not instantly respond to requests for remark.

As of Friday, Gaana’s songs app was not letting cost-free streaming for users, providing every month options beginning at 99 Indian rupees ($1.24). The app has additional than 100 million end users.

In 2020, the corporation was valued at more than $500 million, in accordance to Indian tech news web site Entracker.

A single of the sources stated Gaana had struggled to increase income from traders, including China’s Tencent. Because 2020, India has amplified scrutiny of investments from countries with which it shares a land border – such as China – to deter opportunistic takeovers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The crackdown deepened just after a border clash involving India and China later on that year, which has considering the fact that held up billions of pounds of capital inflows to the car and technology sectors between others.

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Reporting by Aditya Kalra and Munsif Vengattil in New Delhi Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Mark Potter

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