Why are music streaming services looking towards original programming content?


Imagine a life without music streaming services? They are the current fad and pretty much the primary source of music consumption since the last few years in India. As per the 2017 ‘Indian Media And Entertainment Industry Report’ by KPMG India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the digital music industry (downloads and streams) is said to be producing over 70% of the Rs. 12 billion music industry’s overall revenue in India.

Why are they popular? Irrespective of where you are, you can enjoy Bollywood songs, English numbers and regional tracks all day long by streaming them on an app or website. For instance, if you are a big fan of Rajnikant, you can enjoy his latest Semma Weightu song from the upcoming movie Kaala on loop. The catchy Kaala song can be played in hindi, tamil and telegu in music streaming services day and night. All you need is a strong and fast Wi-Fi or mobile data!


To increase their revenue, numerous music streaming apps (paid and free) have started looking at adding a slew of original content to their library. They are offering audio talk shows, videos and podcasts in a bid to try and deliver diversified content as well as open new revenue outlets.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why music streaming services are providing original content.


There has been a concentrated effort to diversify the content offered in music streaming services. Apart from listing to Bollywood songs, English tracks, regional numbers or independent music videos, there hasn’t been much variety seen in these music streaming services. Taking a leaf out of video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video that are delivering original programing, music streaming services have also started to diversify their content in order to increase viewership and engagement.

Stand Out from the Crowd

Music streaming apps usually run on similar and mostly restrictive content. With increased competition and all services more or less offering the same music, there is a need to deliver original content to stand out from the crowd and get traffic to your service. This has led to music streaming services exploring other ways to expand their playlist and to add original content.

Increased Revenue

While music streaming apps have all the latest Bollywood songs in their playlist, that alone does not generate increased revenue unless it’s a paid service. In India, music streaming services usually have two revenue models – they charge a monthly fee for specific content and for other general content they show ads to non-paying customers and produce advertising revenue. Adding original programming to their library is a new model to increase revenue streams. Without original content, the rest of the programming is the same. So original programming, like audio and video content, can increase revenue as you’re serving the audience something different and unique from the regular fare.

These are some of the key reasons why music streaming services have started including original programming content. But the search for staple chartbusting Bollywood songs will never fade away as they are mostly why people stream music from these apps.

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