The robots bringing music streaming to kids in India

·2-min read
Miko 2 robots now bring music to children's ears via the Gaana music streaming service.

Music streaming is taking India by storm. While players in the sector may see the opportunity to conquer a new and promising market, they also have to adapt to the consumption patterns of local populations. One such player has signed up a team of robots to help it achieve this.

They're small, fuchsia pink and ready to convert kids in India to the joys of music streaming. India's leading audio streaming platform Gaana recently partnered with tech startup Miko to bring its service to Miko 2 educational robots.

In fact, the streaming service is now included in the MikoMax subscription, which gives users access to a host of "premium content" directly via their robots. While a monthly or yearly subscription is usually required to use the applications built into MikoMax, Miko has decided to make access to Gaana free for all robot owners during the pandemic. "Making this partnership freely available to all users is a small contribution from Miko to the Miko family," the Indian start-up's co-founder and CEO, Sneh Vaswani told The Economic Times.

While this collaboration offers Gaana the opportunity to get a foothold in the booming robotics market, it also helps bolster its efforts to win over younger listeners in India. To that end, the music streaming service partnered with Indian studio Green Gold Animation in October to host its catalog of children's content exclusively on the platform.

Growing interest in music streaming

For Gautam Sinha, the recent partnership with Miko offers another opportunity to reach "a novel market for Gaana." "Bringing our offering to young children is a very exciting opportunity," the streaming service's CEO told The Economic Times. Indeed, people in India are showing increasing interest in music streaming, with the country now counting over 200 million listeners using music streaming services like Gaana and JioSaavn, as Blaise Fernandes, CEO of Indian Music Industry told TheNextWeb.

This promising market is attracting the interest of industry giants such as Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music, who have been ramping up initiatives to conquer it over the last two years. But a major hurdle remains, as while Indians may be music lovers, few of them are willing to pay a subscription fee to listen to music online. Music piracy is still extremely widespread in the country, with pirated music content usage reaching 67% among surveyed music listeners in 2019, according to a recent report from the Indian Music Industry organization. Introducing Indians to music streaming, and its paid-for business model, from a very young age could prove to be a shrewd move for players in the field, like Gaana.

Caroline Drzewinski