Tencent-backed Indian music streaming app Gaana has switched to a paid subscription model to try to avoid shutting down after failing to secure new funding, according to an email from the company to its partners musicals seen by Reuters.
Gaana, also backed by the Indian Internet Times, said in the email that talks with a potential buyer had also “failed”.
Gaana competes with Spotify, Apple Music and Indian telecommunications giant Bharti Airtel’s music app Wynk in an Indian streaming market estimated by data firm Statista at $700 million this year.
In the email sent this week, Gaana’s head of content and partnerships, Sachin Kamble, said the company had been unable to “bring in new investments” and had asked for support for a new paid model of the service.
“Now we are at (a) crossroads – relax / find a way to move on … we decided to try again. Therefore, we have closed streaming for free users today and (move) to the model fee-only,” Kamble wrote in the email.
“We will need your support on this, otherwise we will have to shut down completely.”
Gaana CEO Sandeep Lodha told Reuters in a text message: “We are not closing.” Kamble declined to comment.
Asked about the internal email, a spokesperson for Gaana said in a statement that the message was sent to musical partners “during private negotiations” to reach agreements.
“These statements are read out of context. Gaana is a solid company that is more focused on the subscription business with the intention of being a sustainable business for years to come,” he added.
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