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Music Streaming Showdown: Saavn vs Gaana vs Wynk vs Jio Music vs Apple Music

“Without music, life would be a mistake!” – Friedrich Nietzsche

There are a million applications out there, but only a few of them prove to be necessities. Even for the busiest bees out there, a music streaming/playing application proves to be one of them. There are times one feels lonesome, and the only way to fill that void is through the company of music. Nowadays we have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to any category of application, and so is the case with music streaming apps.

Music Streaming Apps

With growing competition among mobile network operators regarding the fall of data package rates, we now cannot simply pick the first music streaming application we see on the market. Various parameters must be tested like price, streaming quality, library size, curation, user-interface (UI), battery performance and all in all user-specific music suggestions and playback. It sounds quite tedious, and you might feel like downloading the application that most of your friends use, but lucky for you, we have done our homework!

Here are our analysis and results of our tests! We’ve also added Pros and Cons to make it easy.

About the testing

TL;DR: We tested each app with 15 mins of playback to find out how much data it consumes and how much battery it drained.

We conducted a few comprehensive tests to check for the most optimized user experience in terms of primarily: Data Usage in terms of data consumed while streaming in 3 of the qualities available wherever possible and on the standard quality wherever it was not feasible and Battery Performance in terms of Battery Usage i.e., percentage of battery being used to play music for 15mins and power consumed in terms of mAh and Discharging Speed calculated in terms of percentage of battery being utilized by the application on hourly basis as well as in mAh.
All tests were carried out on a OnePlus 3 and WiFi as well as Jio connection.

1) Saavn

saavn-min

One of the pioneering music streaming services to have been launched in India back in 2007, it is one of the last few that still survives. Saavn has a significant market control with an estimated 13 million+ active monthly userbase as on March 2015. It offers unlimited streaming without the need to purchase it, except downloading music which is available only on the paid version(Saavn Pro). The paid version is just an upgrade to the basic streaming service and therefore requires only a single account.

Subscription Cost

Duration Android iOS
1 Day Rs.5/-
1 Week Rs.30/-
1 Month Rs.99/- Rs.120/-
3 Month Rs.285/- Rs.300/-
6 Months Rs.550/- Rs.550/-
1 Year Rs.999/- Rs.1050/-

*Single subscription to paid feature can be used on up to 5 devices.

Trial: 7 days paid features with ads.

Platforms: Android, iOS and Web.

Library Size: 7 Million+ songs as on March 2015.

Regional Languages: Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Urdu, Rajasthani, Odia.

Streaming Bit-rates: 320kbps(Only Pro), 160kbps, 96kbps, 64kbps, 32kbps.

Download Bit-rates: Not Specified.

Ratings on Market/Voters: 4.2/5 by 700k+ users on Android.

Downloads: 10 Million+

Audio Output Quality: Excellent sound.

Data Usage for Saavn:

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

(Super Duper high) 2:56 176 4 1.36
3:28 208 4.3 1.24
4:05 245 5.1 1.24
4:29 269 5.6 1.24
Average 3:45 224.5 4.75 1.27 76.2 2286

Audio Output Quality: Very good sound.

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Medium 2:56 176 2.3 0.78
3:28 208 2.7 0.77
4:05 245 3 0.73
4:29 269 3.4 0.75
Average 3:45 224.5 2.85 0.76 45.6 1368

Audio Output Quality: Poor sound.

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Low 2:56 176 0.4 0.14
3:28 208 0.5 0.14
4:05 245 0.5 0.12
4:29 269 0.5 0.11
Average 3:45 224.5 0.48 0.13 7.8 234

 

Battery Drain with Saavn

Screenshot_20161206-132713_01

 

Pros

  • The vast collection of Bollywood tracks with good curation.
  • Regional as well as International music library is also good.
  • The song can be found quickly on searching.
  • Audio Series/Shows are available and kept up to date.
  • The user can follow friends and check out what they’re listening to.

Cons

  • Occasional crashes of the application.
  • Previously downloaded tracks appear to be unavailable in different regions.
  • Song suggestions and discovery mode must be manually turned on.
  • International Music curation is poor, and the artist radio is not up to the mark.
  • Offline music cannot be searched.
  • All songs are not available on highest quality(320 kbps).
  • Extremely inefficient as a music player on your device for songs in internal storage or memory card.
  • On lowest quality, the output sound quality is simply wrong.

Conclusion

Saavn is a great application for an average music listener who is more inclined towards Bollywood music and is keen to discover more of the latest or even old Bollywood classics. In the International music category, it’s easy to find mainstream Electronic music and latest hits from all genres. However, on the other hand, if you are a hardcore International music enthusiast and are keen on discovering old-school Rock-classics, groovy Blues and Jazz or even some heavy Metal, Saavn is quite a let-down in the curation of its International music library, but when it comes to playing popular favourites, the service is helpful.

2) Gaana

gaana-min

Launched in April 2010, Gaana is a fast-growing favourite of the Indian market with a massive 10 million library size inclusive of 21 languages in totality. The Indian catalogue is available to users worldwide, but the global catalogue is limited to Indian users only. It offers unlimited streaming with ads and can be upgraded to the paid version(Gaana+) for enabling downloads in the highest quality possible. Ghana, unlike its competitors, supports more platforms such as Blackberry and Windows along with the others.

Price

Duration Price
3 Months Rs.297/-
6 Months Rs.549/-
1 Year Rs.999/-

*Up to 5 Devices

Trial: 14 Days (2 Weeks)

Platforms:  Android, iOS, Web, Windows Phone, Blackberry.

Library Size: 10 million+

Languages: Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri,  Malayalam and others.

Bit-rates: Available: Not specified

Ratings: on Market/Voters: 4.2/5 by 750k+ voters on Android.

Downloads: 10 million+

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Data Usage for Gaana:

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

High Definition.

Gaana+ Only

2:56 176 3.2 1.09
3:28 208 3.2 0.92
4:05 245 4 0.97
4:29 269 4.8 1.07
Average 3:45 224.5 3.8 1.01 60.6 1818

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

2:56 176 1.5 0.5
3:28 208 1.7 0.49
4:05 245 2.2 0.53
4:29 269 2.2 0.49
Average 3:45 224.5 1.9 0.50 30 900

Audio Output Quality: Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

2:56 176 0.5 0.17
3:28 208 1.7 0.49
4:05 245 1.7 0.41
4:29 269 1.9 0.42
Average 3:45 224.5 1.45 0.37 22.2 666

 

Battery Drain with Gaana

Screenshot_20161206-135007_01

 

Pros

  • Variety of music categories including an intriguing one called ‘Antakshari’.
  • Video catalog available.
  • Good Album art collection.
  • On-screen Equalizer.
  • Discovery mode is helpful.
  • Feature to follow friends and check out what they’re listening to.
  • Lowest streaming quality also produces good audio output.

Cons

  • Radio suggestions are inept.
  • Many of the latest tracks are unavailable at launch period.
  • High-quality streaming takes the time to load compared to other services.
  • Daily notification spam.

Conclusion

Gaana is quite a promising application with its appealing interface and a vast library of multilingual songs. Although the curation might not be up to the mark, the output audio quality is good on all offered qualities. There are numerous radios to suit your mood and taste of music. The international library is good, but the odd suggestions and poor curation take a lot away from experience. It is a promising and upcoming streaming service that has a lot to offer and is suitable for those who enjoy Bollywood music and keep in touch with most International genres.

3) Wynk

wynk-min

Airtel’s most recent success and a great application with a 2.5 million+ library size and above-par curation is a very friendly streaming service. More so for Airtel users due to its biased pricing structure. It offers limited streaming for non-Airtel users(100 songs per month) and unlimited streaming for Airtel users. The paid version (Wynk Plus) can also be activated for unlimited downloads, again on separate pricing schemes.

Price

Subscriber Type Android iOS
Airtel User Rs.29/- per month Rs.60/- per month
Non-Airtel User Rs.99/- per month Rs.120/- per month

Trial: 1 Month on subscribing to Wynk Plus

Platforms: Android, iOS and Web.

Library Size: 2.5 million+

Languages: Tamil, Telegu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri,  Malayalam, Rajasthani, Odiya and Assamese.

Bit-rates Available: 320/256kbps, 128kbps, 64kbps, 32kbps.

Ratings on Market/Voters: 4.2/5 by 391k+ voters on Android.

Downloads: 10 million+

Data Usage for Wynk:

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Highest 2:56 176 7.7 2.62
3:28 208 9 2.60
4:05 245 10.5 2.57
4:29 269 10.6 2.36
Average 3:45 224.5 9.45 2.54 152.4 4572

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Medium 2:56 176 1.3 0.44
3:28 208 2.1 0.60
4:05 245 2.3 0.56
4:29 269 2.5 0.56
Average 3:45 224.5 2.05 0.54 32.4 972

Audio Output Quality: Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Low 2:56 176 1 0.34
3:28 208 1 0.28
4:05 245 1.4 0.34
4:29 269 1.7 0.37
Average 3:45 224.5 1.28 0.33 19.8 594

Battery Drain with Wynk

Screenshot_20161213-124514_01

 

Pros

    • Very good collection of regional music.
    • Excellent Curation of a library.

Song details available (Record Label, Year of release, etc.on phone).

  • Easy playlist creation (Can add offline songs and in-memory songs to a same playlist).
  • Efficiently substitutes musicon the phone.
  • Download quality can be set.
  • No notification spam.

Cons

  • Complicated and biased pricing.
  • Buffering can get slow at times.
  • Hidden FUP charges (FUP – Fair Usage Policy).

Conclusion

Wynk turns out to be a very attractive application(especially if you are an Airtel user) with an amazing Bollywood as well as the International Library. The curation is above par compared to the other applications. Even though the library size is comparatively less, it did not reflect on the searches we made. The interface is appealing and easy to use. The only problem that one can come up with for this app is the complicated pricing scheme and biased pricing toward Airtel users. Biased pricing along with hidden FUP charges down the line which almost makes you think what their agenda is? All in all, Wynk does hold one of the top spots and is more or less suitable for most music enthusiasts looking to stream and discover new music.

4) Hungama

hungama-min

Another respectable oldie of the streaming apps, Hungama has a dedicated user database. Popular for it’s Bollywood collection, it started in the year of 2000. Hungama, also having its video and movie streaming service is quite a handy application in the first glimpse, but only videos can be streamed under the same subscription of music but not movies. Having a 3.5 million+ library size, it offers a lot of options. Unlimited streaming is allowed, but the subscription is mandatory for downloading tracks.

Price

Period Android iOS
1 Month Rs.99/- Rs.120/-

Trial: 30 Days

Platforms: Web, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry

Library Size: 3.5 million+

Languages: Tamil, Telegu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri,  Malayalam

Bit-rates Available: Not Specified

Ratings on Market/Voters: 4.1/5 by 310k+ voters on Android.

Downloads: 10 million+

Data Usage for Hungama:

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

High 2:56 176 3.5 1.19
3:28 208 3.5 1
4:05 245 4 0.97
4:29 269 5 1.11
Average 3:45 224.5 4 1.07 64.2 1962

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Medium 2:56 176 2.7 0.92
3:28 208 2.7 0.77
4:05 245 2.9 0.71
4:29 269 3.3 0.73
Average 3:45 224.5 2.9 0.78 46.8 1404

Audio Output Quality: Okay

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Low 2:56 176 0.9 0.30
3:28 208 0.9 0.25
4:05 245 1 0.24
4:29 269 1.1 0.25
Average 3:45 224.5 0.98 0.26 15.6 468

Battery Drain with Hungama

Screenshot_20161213-130542_01

 

Pros

  • Stream and download videos.
  • Tempo settings are available for each song.
  • Good Bollywood and regional library.

Cons

  • Too many ads.
  • User Interface(UI) is bland.
  • Inconsistent search results.
  • The International library is extremely limited.
  • Low-quality streaming has bad output sound quality.
  • Each song/video(entity) can be downloaded a maximum of 3 times.

Conclusion

Hungama might be an old and respectable service, but it’s quite near to becoming a total antique. The library curation is bad, and the user interface is too simple and plain. The battery performance and data consumption have improved since before, but in totality, Hungama just doesn’t have what it takes to be an all round music application that deserves to take up space on your phone. The negatives totally outweigh the positives, and there is just no good reason to download this application.

5) Guvera

guvera-min

Guvera, an Australian music streaming service is a relatively lesser known application simply because it doesn’t advertise as much. The library size is one of the biggest Whether it’s the International or Indian one. It boasts of 6.5 million+ active users in India alone. The service is ad-cluttered since it is free of cost but the ads can be removed once upgraded to the premium version(Guvera Platinum) that is priced relatively higher than its competitors.

Price

Duration Android iOS
One month Rs.199/- Rs.250/-

Trial: No Trial

Platforms: Android, iOS, Web.

Library Size: 18 million+

Languages: Not specified but most regional languages available.

Bit-rates Available: Not Specified.

Ratings on Market/Voters: 4.0/5 by 267k+ voters on Android.

Downloads: 10 million+

Data Usage for Guvera:

Audio Output Quality: Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Standard 2:56 176 5.5 1.88
3:28 208 5.7 1.65
4:05 245 7.2 1.76
4:29 269 7.9 1.76
Average 3:45 224.5 6.58 1.76 105.6 3168

Battery Drain with Guvera

Screenshot_20161216-212531_01

 

Pros

  • Articles and reviews on varied topics(Movies, albums, songs).
  • Good artist radios.
  • Apt suggestions and recommendations.
  • Follow friends and keep track of what they are listening too.
  • No notification spam.

Cons

  • Too many ads make it tedious to navigate between tabs or menus.
  • Frequent retrieval failure messages/crashes.
  • No option for setting streaming quality.
  • Subscription prices are steep.
  • Poor album art collection.

Conclusion

Guvera seems like an upcoming mainstream competitor in the streaming fraternity. The investors believe that fewer customers are willing to pay for their services in developing countries and hence ads will most likely be present in the future as well. The library collection is good, and curation is also pleasing. The web interface is a good mode of operation and makes it convenient to search for desired music. Since the quality of streaming is automatically set, the data consumption is constant over fluctuating network signal. The price is much higher compared to its competitors but probably worth skipping the ads and browsing a large library without disturbances.

6) Jio Music

jio-min

The handiest streaming application on the market is coming from the service providers causing turmoil in the industry, Jio music is like a whiff of fresh air. With a plethora of options and zero claims by the company regarding its’ library size, it is quite hard to gauge the actual size, but in our experience, it’s quite vast to lose yourself. Offering free streaming and downloading to anyone with a Jio account in a variety of qualities to choose from, this app just steals the show.

Price: Free

Trial: Not Applicable.

Platforms: Android, iOS.

Library Size: Not Specified.

Languages: Tamil, Telegu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri,  Malayalam, Rajasthani, Odiya and Assamese.

Bit-rates Available: 320kbps, 256kbps, 128kbps, 64kbps, 32kbps.

Ratings on Market/Voters: 4.4/5 by 71k+ voters on Android.

Downloads: 10 million+

Data Usage for Jio Music

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

High Definition 2:56 176 9.8 3.34
3:28 208 10 2.88
4:05 245 10.8 2.64
4:29 269 11.6 2.58
Average 3:45 224.5 10.55 2.86 171.6 5148

Audio Output Quality: Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Medium 2:56 176 7.7 2.63
3:28 208 9 2.60
4:05 245 10.5 2.57
4:29 269 10.5 2.34
Average 3:45 224.5 9.43 2.54 152.4 4572

Audio Output Quality: Okay

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Low 2:56 176 1.2 0.40
3:28 208 1.4 0.40
4:05 245 1.6 0.39
4:29 269 1.8 0.40
Average 3:45 224.5 1.5 0.40 24 720

Battery Drainage with Jio Music

Screenshot_20161216-213148_01

 

Pros

  • Interface language selection.
  • A variety of radios available.
  • Equaliser is available.
  • Song details are available.
  • User Interface is neat and easy to use.
  • Different download qualities are available.
  • Good curation and song suggestions/recommendations.

Cons

  • You need to have a Jio SIM to use the service.
  • Incomplete albums.
  • Sucks Data.

Conclusion

Jio Music is our favourite app for streaming and downloading music. Not just because it is free but also its’ simplicity in use and good curation along with a vast regional library. Yes, there are drawbacks too, about the International library size and the fact that you need to have a Jio SIM to avail these services.  Jio Music is slowly dominating markets and signing on new partners to increase their library size. It is quite new but stands as a ginormous threat to its’ competitors. We see no reason why a non Jio user should not order a Jio SIM to his/her doorstep simply to use this amazing service while the offer lasts.

7) Apple Music

Apple-min

The heavyweight champion when it comes to streaming services, Apple music has total market domination. As of December 2016, there are reportedly 20 million+ subscribed users active all over the world. Apart from the excellent curation, Apple music has another brilliant exclusive radio – Beats 1 that offers premiering content and broadcasts live DJ events as well.  They offer a free three month trial period after which subscription charges apply.

Price

Single User Multi-User (up to six devices)
Rs.120/- per month Rs.190/- per month

Trial:  3 Months

Platforms: iOS, Windows, Mac, Android.

Library Size: 30 million+

Languages: Tamil, Telegu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Bhojpuri,  Malayalam, Rajasthani, Odiya and Assamese.

Bit-rates Available: 256kbps.

Ratings on Market/Voters: 3.5/5 by 125k+ voters on Android.

Downloads: 10 million+

Data Usage for Apple Music:

Audio Output Quality: Very Good

Quality Time(mm:ss) Time(sec) MB used MB/Min 1 hr/Day(MB) 1 Month(MB)

1Hour/day

Standard 2:56 176 6.3 2.15
3:28 208 8.8 2.54
4:05 245 9.2 2.25
4:29 269 9.6 2.14
Average 3:45 224.5 8.48 2.27 136.2 4086

Battery Drain with Apple Music

IMG-20161214-WA0012_01

 

Pros

  • Finest International library.
  • Apt suggestions and recommendations.
  • Beats 1 Radio.
  • Broadcast your radio.
  • Single app for all music online or offline.
  • Simple User-Interface.
  • Premiering content.

Cons

  • Apple ID required.
  • Bollywood tracks take the time to show up on the catalogue.
  • Mediocre regional library.
  • Sucks Data.

Conclusion

Apple Music has what it takes to be a top contender for the best music streaming service. From the best recommendations to the near-complete International library, Apple Music serves as the best source of music for your personal requirements. If you enjoy the peppy Bollywood tracks or have a taste in regional music, Apple Music will not let you down. The app automatically adjusts to your music taste and gives out quick suggestions irrespective of language. It is new to the Android users and faces a little heat. Our suggestion would be to give it some time to get used to. In case you are an Apple product using family, don’t think, just get the family plan.

Winners by category

Pricing

In this competitive market, Jio Music has made its services free and therefore is the winner here, but if we were to compare the applications outside the free category, the competition is quite close. Most of the prices are nearly the same, but Saavn and Gaana offer the same service for up to five devices at the same cost and hence win! On the other hand, Guvera is highly priced and stands last in this category.

Data Usage

On comparing the standard qualities(medium) and the corresponding data usage, we found out that Gaana is the clear winner and uses the least amount of data(900MB per month if used daily for an hour per month. Wynk comes in a very close second spot(972MB). Jio comes in last with a whopping 4572MB and Apple Music with 4086MB.

Battery Usage

Hungama is the clear winner with a discharge rate of merely 15% per hour, and Wynk finishes last with a 26.2% per hour discharge rate.

International Library

Apple Music is the winner here with a booming library and a fine collection ranging through the decades. Guvera is next best in this category.

Bollywood and regional library

Wynk, Saavn and Gaana are pretty much tied up for the first spot with a good library range. Hungama also gets close to a decent library.

User-Interface and Curation

It is a user-based experience and hence may vary according to various users but broadly speaking, Apple Music and Jio Music have a very simple and easy to use the method of approach and therefore our favourites. Wynk and Gaana come in after that.

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Aditya Shenoy

Deputy Editor at Pricebaba.com A management graduate, passionate about gadgets and automobiles. Likes to be up to date about the latest things in the tech industry. An avid Android user who Lives to Drive. Follow me on Twitter @adishenoy

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