After giving a sneak peek, Gaana.com, the music streaming service from Times Internet, has launched the premium, subscription based version of its music service, Gaana+.
The Gaana+ service comes with a 15 day free trial after which you need to pay a monthly subscription fee of $2.99. At this point in time, the service has only been integrated with Gaana.com's updated iOS app and makes use of in-app purchase for subscriptions. The company intends to extend the feature to the Android app in a couple of weeks with subscriptions via Google Play. 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 currently doesn't offer the functionality to directly make available full albums for offline listening, however, Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet informed NDTV Gadgets that the feature would be introduced with the next version of the app.
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.
In addition to this, the Gaana iOS app 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.
With Gaana+, another music streaming service focused on the Indian market forays into subscriptions. While it indicates that the segment is witnessing a lot of action, we're not sure if Indians are ready to pay for subscription based services over and above their data plans.
Last month, Gaana's competitor Saavn had also rolled out
a paid subscription option, which the company calls, Saavn Pro, for its iOS app. The Saavn Pro service has been priced at $3.99 or Rs. 220 per month but the company is also offering a 30-day free trial to users. In addition to offering an ad-free experience, Saavn Pro also allows users to cache music for offline listening. Users will also be able to sync saved music between different devices. Sync can be done with both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity.