Gaana.com, the music streaming service from Times Internet, has extended the premium, subscription based version of its service, Gaana+ to Android through an update. The company claims that it is the first music service in India to bring this feature set to Android.
The Gaana+ service comes with a 15 day free trial after which you need to pay a monthly subscription fee of $2.99 (or Rs. 170.13) if you're located in India or $3.99 if you're outside India. At the moment, the subscription is directly linked to the user's Google Play account as a recurring transaction, though the company had previously said that it also plans to tie-up with telecom operators to offer integrated billing.
The premium service offers users the option to stream music at high quality bit rates of up to 128kbps. It offers an ad-free listening experience and also allows users to download their playlists for offline listening. The app offers high quality (320 kbps) music sync and lets users select whether they wish to sync music on 2G/3G networks or just via Wi-Fi. It also offers an offline mode in which they can listen to music that's been synced for offline listening.
The app currently doesn't offer the functionality to directly make available full albums for offline listening, however, Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet had earlier told NDTV Gadgets that the feature would be introduced with the next version of the app.
In addition to this, the updated Gaana Android app (version 2.0) adds a new "My Zone" feature, that allows users instant access to their music with their music playback history, favourite songs, artists and albums all available under one section, across devices. It also brings an improved search experience.
We'd like to point out that Gaana's mobile app offers limited titles compared to the titles available on Gaana's website.
Gaana.com had first rolled out
the Gaana+ service on its iPhone app, in April.
With the introduction of the service on Android, the service will be able to reach out to more users as the Indian smartphone market is dominated by Android. However, we're not sure if Android users would be ready to pay for subscription based services over and above their data plans as users on the platform have a lower propensity to pay for apps and services compared to their iOS counterparts.
Gaana's competitor Saavn had also rolled out
a paid subscription option, which the company calls, Saavn Pro, to its iOS app. The Saavn Pro service has been priced at $3.99 or Rs. 220 per month. In addition to offering an ad-free experience, Saavn Pro also allows users to cache music for offline listening.
Last week, Gaana had also launched a new web app, SingAlong, an online karaoke service that allows users to sing popular songs, score in real time and challenge friends online.