Note: Being in Product Development for long, I consider UI a part of UX and not a standalone thing. So whenever I will say UX , you need to consider it ,UI-UX. Even some big design agencies in India still consider them two stand-alone things , which they aren’t and that is where most of them go wrong in final deliveries.
Everything was going fine till Feb’19 , until Spotify finally debuted in India after a year long delay due to lots of external factors (few of them are still going on thanks to Warner Label).
I was happy shuffling between Gaana and JioSaavn(previously Saavn). I am a paid user so I have the right to complain as I pay for their services. Free loaders don’t have the right to complain as you aren’t in it completely and you are just window shopping.
Gaana has bigger library of songs but their UX sucks big time. They DID revamped it last year but still it is very behind in usability. But they are still going strong because of their exclusive music rights to some very good pop artists and now some movies. Gaana had a good knack of identifying new and upcoming indie pop artists and sign them exclusively. So there will a lots of tracks you may listen and if you are wondering where I might find them except YouTube , just go to Gaana , you will find them. But there is a catch also, movies soundtracks will be available everywhere at a later point of time but those artists songs will never. Race 3 songs became available on JioSaavn after a month of movie release. Mickey Singh EP isn’t available anywhere else. Gaana got the basics right and figured out that content is the king and they are using it to their advantage as they are backed by Times Internet. But still many tech savvy don’t go to it because of UX. It’s about time we start focus on UX. Content curation is a part of UX . People doesn’t give a shit about discover mode are usually happy with Gaana as they still don’t know how much your experience can be enhanced by right recommendation engine. One thing they did got right is their Voice Search. It works. But I would really like to know what is their Voice Search metrics?
Using Gaana is like dating a rich girl who seems to be interesting at first and then later realising that everything was a facade. It may give you an access to lots of interesting experiences but at the end of day you won’t be happy and you will eventually drift away from her. But it will be an On-Off relationship.
JioSaavn is a worthy one in India. Their revamped version came sometime last year and they just tried to position themselves as Spotify of India. And they succeeded. It has a nice UX. Pretty good collection of songs. They had completely nailed the “autoplay” recommendation engine. They have a slightly small music library but their “autoplay” music makes you feel that you are not missing anything. But you are, and you find out it when you try to find something specific. UX is simple. But their Achilles heel is their licensing deals with Publishers. They sign new deals but always forgets to renew it with most of the international publishers. Imagine you went to see a movie , loved it’s soundtrack and you came back and tried searching it and found it and streamed it for a while but then forgot about it. Sometime later you again want to listen to it but can’t found it as the licensed expired. I experienced this way too many times . Is it just me ,or Music streaming sites feels that Indian don’t listen to International Music other than the popular ones ? But JioSaavn has onboarded all the popular podcasters and they are creating some good original content. Overall a good package.
Using JioSaavn is like arrange marriage; with some adjustments , you can live peacefully.
Wynk, I am not going to talk about it as it still sucks and no body uses it. Few Airtel users uses it as it comes bundled in mobile prepaid and postpaid plans.
Using Wynk is like working in your father’s brick and mortar shop considering you can do better things if only you tried a little bit.
Same thing goes with Amazon Music. It comes bundled with Amazon Prime subscription and many people feels like they should use it and they start to feel “What the fuck is happening ?”. It is a complete mess of an app . Confusing and small music library. Even it takes time for them to have their original contents’ music on the platform. So you can imagine the scene with other publishers. On the other hand, you have Amazon Prime Video, which is evolving with time and offers great experience.
Using Amazon Music is like working in IT industry seems like an only option after engineering.
We need to talk about it. Because the app sucks on Android. I am not fan of Apple’s restricted ecosystem so will never buy an iPhone so will never use the app in it’s full might. It has a great collection of songs but man if you can’t make your app work properly on a popular OS , you really need to get your shit straight. India is one of the most populated country in the world , with a large number of people in the age group of 15-40 , and with Jio they all have started consuming digital content and music is the most basic digital content consumed and Apple devices are expensive and not a value proposition deal . So Android is the way to go at least in India.
Using Apple Music is like becoming doctor as you belong to a family of doctors.
Now let’s talk about Spotify. The much awaited entrant in India. Too much hype and expectation and it came all falling within one week. International music is missing. Indie ones are there but you discover Indie songs but search known ones. Dua Lipa isn’t there. Linkin Park isn’t there. Almost all the good International artists are signed to Warner Music and Spotify and Warner Music are at fight with each other and no end is in sight for now. Now imagine , you pay 1200 bucks for an incomplete service with a hope that one day you will get to enjoy all it’s might but you never know when that day will come.
Using Spotify in India is like dreaming of owning a Tesla. It will happen one day but we don’t know when.
So it is a good time to be a music fanatic but (unfortunately) , you need to be on atleast 2 , to have a complete experience. I need to try YouTube Music still. I am waiting for them to revamp their UX , they are competing with Wynk in “ Who has the worst experience ? “ and you don’t expect such from Google as they only came up with Material Design. But one thing is certainly going in favor of YouTube Music is that as they share library with main YouTube, you can always find your desired content when you want it and plus we all know about recommendation power of YouTube , you just have to watch one video and man, you will go on a journey where there is no stop byes .
Using YouTube Music is like son of physics teacher failing in physics .
Don’t believe me, come, let’s talk , I will buy you a beer.