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NEW DELHI : Mumbai and Delhi lead the domestic audio streaming market, accounting for 25%, each, of the total audio over-the-top (OTT) listeners, far ahead of other metropolises, such as Kolkata (11%), Bengaluru (10%), and Hyderabad (8%), said a report by data and insight consultancy Kantar. Smaller towns such as Lucknow and Kanpur were at 4% each.

Mumbai’s share of time spent on music offered by audio OTT services, is at a whopping 44%, followed by Delhi (24%), Bengaluru (10%) and Hyderabad (5%).

The study, OTT Audience Measurement and Insights, has been conducted jointly by Kantar and audience measurement and analytics company VTION in January. The sample size of the survey was close to 10,000 people across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Kanpur.

“The year 2020 will be ‘The Battle for the Ear’ as OTT audio platforms are shaking up the music market, especially by competing intensely with radio. Today, listeners are spoilt for choice as far as content is concerned and move across platforms to fulfil their entertainment needs," said Hemant Mehta, managing director, insights division and chief strategy officer of Kantar South Asia.

About 13 million adults listened to an audio streaming app during the month, with an average person spending 65 minutes a day listening to music. Listening times peaked during morning commute hours (9-10am) and late evening (9:30-10pm) during the week. The core OTT listener was women, according to the report, and was skewed towards the middle-class.

Audio streaming was, however, not as strong in markets, such as Pune or Chennai, besides Delhi and Kolkata, where radio is still the go-to medium. In Mumbai, in fact, there is a clear tilt towards OTT.

Audio OTT has also started competing effectively with television, peaking consistently during prime-time viewing slots between 8:30pm and 9:30pm.

Gaana, the streaming service owned by Times Internet Ltd, dominated the audio streaming market with a 30% share, followed by JioSaavn (24%), Wynk Music (15%), Spotify (15%), Google Play Music (10%), and others (7%).

However, on an average, users spent more time on the Swedish music streaming service Spotify (86 minutes a day) compared to Gaana (63 minutes) and JioSaavn (49 minutes). While the core markets of Spotify were Mumbai and Delhi, Gaana had a strong presence in Bengaluru and Ahmedabad, besides the two metros.

“Millions of Indians are now spending their ‘me time’, during their commute, office or leisure, enjoying genuine high-definition quality digital music in their native tongue on Gaana. As the industry leader, we have constantly innovated on the user experience to appeal to the first-generation mobile internet user and gained a deep understanding of the Indian music lover’s preferences. This will help us on-board the next quarter-billion Indians from tier-2 and 3 cities onto the music streaming bandwagon," said Prashan Agarwal, chief executive officer, Gaana.

The top 10 songs for the month included Bollywood remixes (Muqabala), besides independent singles such as Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi and Pachtaoge. Kabir Singh’s Tujhe Kitna Chahne Lage continued to appeal even six months after the film’s release.

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