While Amazon Prime Music comes free with your Prime subscription, I wanted to see a world of music offered from India’s premier music services – Saavn and Gaana.
I was a user of Apple Music and wanted to try something else, after I switched to an Android phone (a story for another time). While I still hold my breath for Spotify to enter India (in vain…yet…for God knows how much more long) and Google Play music not seem to be promising with a flat unattractive interface, Saavn was the only one left for me try beside Amazon music which was another flat, everyday-same looking lifeless interface.
Saavn turned out to be good with it’s suggestions, mixes and bottomless discovery playlists. I loved it for a while, though I felt the interface to be cluttered in comparison to Apple Music and smeared here and there with Saavn originals which I don’t really care about. For a while, I paid for pro and was happy with it and never thought I would give Gaana a try. Jio and Saavn merged and I got the 90 day pro trial at the same time I took Gaana for a spin.
Gaana was not very impressive at first and I thought I would give up on it in less than 2 weeks. However, I saw that the browser support from Gaana is far better than Amazon and Saavn. I got HD quality music while Saavn tops at 128 Kbps on the browser. Where Gaana stands out is it’s sound quality in comparison with Saavn and Amazon. I do feel the difference somehow, at least for most part the streams in Gaana are better tuned for quality in comparison to Saavn. At 399 per year, it became an offer that I cannot resist and signed up quickly.
While Gaana and Saavn has a cluttered interface, Gaana stands out in quality and Saavn stands out in discoverability and playlist formations and Amazon fares in neither, except for being free with Prime. But all of this, if Spotify goes live in India sooner or later, Spotify may become a cult icon here and it could be cool to subscribe to Spotify than other services. All 3 of the services – Gaana, Saavn and Amazon should really be scared of Spotify if they score in usability and coolness factor, no matter what the price would be for the subscription. It’s time they focus on the user experience and begin to stand out or risk losing soon.