Is Streaming Music On 3G Affordable? Gaana vs. Saavn vs. Hungama

On: December 12, 2014


Most of us love listening to songs, and there are times when we hear our favorite song on loop or keep on humming it incessantly, even if it’s a song you’ve barely heard. Primarily because we heard it in the background or maybe because we just stumbled upon a situation similar to it. Like, Imagining a paan shop would make you hum ‘Khaike paan banaras wala’ or experiencing the rains and thinking of songs like ‘Rimzim Gire Sawan’ or Skylar Grey’s ‘It’s Raining Again’ is something very impulsive.  The songs may not be the same for everyone as different people will have different choices. After all, the songs you listen to reflect your personality.

In earlier days, the songs coming on radio were the only ones which trended and if you wanted to listen to some other song, there was nothing else to do but wait for it patiently by shuffling between channels. Some might have stored ‘MP3s’ of the particular songs they like. But, nowadays the scene has changed completely.

With everyone owning a smartphone with a 3G data plan, it gives them an easy access to Internet on their fingertips. One can simply download apps like Gaana, Saavn, Hungama, etc., search for their desired song and listen to it. But, will your existing data plan make these services affordable? Or will a subscription to these apps that allow downloads be cheaper than streaming it for free? Is it better to stream only on Wi-Fi or your 3G pack will suffice? We decided to find out answers to such questions by doing a research on how much data is consumed by each song. 

To begin with, We took into consideration the amount of data consumed by the 3 popular music streaming apps like Gaana, Saavn & Hungama. We did so by streaming 5 different songs ranging between duration of 3 min 40 secs and 5 minutes, then calculating their average data consumed. We streamed all these songs at the highest quality available, by manually changing it from the App settings.

Pricebaba Music Excel

The findings were as below:

  1. Saavn consumed 0.47MB per minute
  2. Gaana consumed 0.45MB per minute
  3. Hungama consumed 0.84MB per minute

While Gaana consumed the least of all, it is not strikingly less. If you intend to listen one hour of songs every day i.e 30 hours of music per month; Here is the result on how much data you would consume from those apps.

  1. Saavn would consume 28MB for every 60 minutes per day i.e 846MB per month.
  2. Gaana would consume 27MB for every 60 minutes per day i.e 810MB per month.
  3. Hungama would consume 50MB for every 60 minutes per day i.e 1.47GB per month.

The data consumption by these apps will surely burn your entire data pack if you have a 1GB or a 2GB plan. And, this is when the subscription plans of these apps come into picture. All these apps have similar plans ranging from 100-120 rupees which offer similar services like ad-free unlimited streaming of music in the highest possible quality they offer. But the big money-saver feature would be the offline storage to listen to songs without consuming the internet. While Gaana and Hungama gives you unlimited archiving, Saavn only allows you to cache 3GB of your songs; which isn’t bad considering you can store about 600 songs of an average 5-minute length.

So at the end of the day, what did we learn? Say, if you are on a 2GB Vodafone 3G pack that today costs Rs. 450, you can subscribe to these apps for a mere hundred rupees per month and cache your songs, so that you don’t have to keep streaming your favorite songs over and over. Streaming can be an expensive affair on mobile data, so if you do all your streaming on WiFi, then it should not pinch you as much. You’ll just have to deal with the ads.

Update: We received a tremendous response for this comparison. Things have changed since this article was written, there are some new players like Apple Music and Jio Music. So we did the tests again, this time including all the major streaming apps in the market. Head here to read Saavn vs Gaana vs Wynk vs Apple Music vs Jio Music

Ruchita Mahimkar

Ruchita loves writing on new happenings in the world of Technology. If not learning something new, she is usually reading or socializing. You can follow her on Twitter @WordsWali


    • Anushrut
    • December 15, 2014

    Excellent research. Excellent article. Well done Ruchita. PriceBaba has posted some really interesting blog posts recently.

    Suggestion- Add facebook comments as it would be easy to comment 🙂

    • Aditya
    • December 15, 2014

    Thats some really helpful research. For a guy like me who cant stay without his music, it wouldnt hurt to get a subscription and get the music offline on the go.
    Good job.

    • Sunil G
    • April 5, 2015

    Very useful research. Thanks a lot.

    • Daniel
    • June 14, 2015

    Nice & Useful Post. Really got what I looked for. Thanks!!

    • Hiren
    • August 18, 2015

    Thanks Ruchita, For posting such a well researched blog. It helps lot for so many Indian users. Great work, Looking for next one.

    • tushar awate
    • January 7, 2016

    Good analysis, liked it.

    • john
    • January 9, 2016

    thank you dear! you just saved my 30 MBs of data

    • Ojashwee
    • January 24, 2016

    Thank you..!
    For this analysis, I myself am a fan of Hindi songs, living in Nepal. The cost of 3G pack is similar to India’s and wifi are not always connected. And while I’m viewing your blog I’m on my 3G pack wondering should I or not listen to Saavn/gaana on 3G
    And you gave me my answer I.e NO

    • Ruchita
    • April 25, 2016

    Welcome Ojashwee.

    If it’s a song which you know and something you would want to keep on loop. I’d recommend to download it, you can then hear it for as many times as you would want 🙂

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Welcome John. 🙂

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Thank you, Tushar.

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Hi Hiren,

    Thank you for the kind words & glad to know that it has served you well. Will surely come up with the next one, soon!

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Good to know, Daniel. Thank you 🙂

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Thanks Sunil 🙂

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Correct, Aditya.
    Plus, it might also save you from the repetitive ads.
    Enjoy your music! 🙂

    • Ruchita Mahimkar
    • April 25, 2016

    Will definitely try to integrate Facebook comments. Till then, thanks for commenting in the old-school way. Cheers! 🙂

    • Soumen
    • July 13, 2016

    Aap log fm ke bare kuch jante hai kya. Suna he wuha pe sare latest song sunate hai, woh bhi free of cost???

    • Raman
    • July 14, 2016

    pretty useful info i think, way 2 go…

    • Jasdev
    • July 30, 2016

    Hey, am guessing the data usage recorded was for mobile data packs. Is it any less if connected to wifi instead?

    • Ruchita
    • August 11, 2016

    Hey Jasdev,
    We havevn’t tested it on Wi-Fi yet.
    But we believe if anything, the consumption on Mobile data would be lesser since they are optimised for it more.

    • Prithu
    • August 26, 2016

    Wouldn’t storing the songs in archive use data for first time? Say a 5MB song when archived will use 5MB of data as well?

  1. So you can cache songs without upgrading to pro version?

    • Rohan D
    • September 21, 2016

    Nice research Ruchita.. just one question, where does these app store songs? If cache memory is full won’t the phone speed will hamper?

    • Nitin
    • October 16, 2016

    Excellent article with precise information.

    • Anonymous
    • June 3, 2017

    Thankss its nicee…??

    • Anonymous
    • July 13, 2017

    really interesting and useful article. thank to share it.

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