The Google Play Music store has finally been opened in India. The search giant announced that they were going to release some new products which are associated with India yesterday, but it did not show that the release of the music service was going to be amongst them. However, some Google enthusiastic fans in India have noticed that the service had come online for them, and after that Google finally announced the service in a statement.
Even though the new Play Music app has launched in the country, there are some caveats to it. The Play Music app will not include the Spotify like all access streaming service and there are no radio or podcasts for the users to use. News networks reported that the content on the Play Music store was going to be prices from as low as 15 INR per one track to about 90 INR for one album. With today’s rate that would be a range of $0.22 to $1.35 from tracks to an album.
The Google Play Music Store was launched back in 2011 in the country that the company is headquartered in, the United States. It has taken a long time for the service to make it to the 2nd most populous country in the world. However, the current CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, an Indian born American has made his birth country a priority for the company.
India is being tipped to overtake China soon as the most populous country in the world, and the Internet revolution there is not as strong therefore there is a potential market. Of the reported 1.3 billion people in India, only a fraction of them are connected to the Internet, (300 million). This means that there is a growth opportunity in the country and there is also some room for innovation which would help things evolve faster. One more enticing thing is that unlike China, the search giant is entirely locked out.
However, the Google Play Music service will come in and join a congested market at the moment. Apple Music and the Australian owned, Guvara have all been competing with the domestic rivals, Gaana. Spotify also plans to launch in India soon and another local player Saavn, are all there to contend with.
India has been a challenging market for companies that offer digital products since the online presence in the country has not been entirely developed yet. This is due to some attitudes and behaviors and the credit and debit card penetration rate have also been low.
Earlier this year, Google started offering the carrier billing for content which means consumers can now make several payments through the mobile operator without any need for a card. The feature has not been enabled for the Google Play Music purchases yet, but Google hinted that soon it will be there.