Gaana Live is an Excellent Option for Artistes and Brands to Reach Out to Audiences: Prashan Agarwal

Industry Watch | December 9, 2020 | Interview


As the lockdown escalated the consumption of online music globally but saw a dip in advertising, EVENTFAQS Media reached out to leading online music streaming platform Gaana to understand how it has fared over the last few months.

In an exclusive conversation with us, Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana shares insights on revenue growth, brand associations, new trends, future plans and more.

Amidst the pandemic, there has been a dip in the quantum of advertising. How did it affect Gaana and what are your plans to get back revenue growth?

Ad revenues were impacted across industries in the wake of the pandemic. Some categories were severely impacted and the revenues from those categories stopped. There was softening in the CPMs (Cost per thousand impressions as well. However, from Q2 onwards, we have seen a strong revival in the CPMs led by Video OTTs, online retail, education, etc., and now the CPMs are back to pre-COVID levels. At Gaana, we used this time to meet clients across industries and added almost 140 new brands. From an advertising revenue perspective, we expect this to be a muted growth year. However, we will see modest growth in revenue led by subscription (Gaana plus offering).

What is your approach towards brand associations and what are some of the associations that you would like to talk about?

During the lockdown period, we used the opportunity to introduce new ad products like Dynamic Audio, Voice Dialog Ads, Vertical Videos, Branded Podcasts etc, to engage advertisers and provide innovative solutions in addition to existing products. In the content space, we successfully created a branded podcast from scratch for Unacademy, which was well received. Additionally, we also created short format audio podcasts for Mondelez - Joke Vani. Voice Dialog ads have also got a great response from advertisers like Pizza Hut, Tata Tetley, Asian Paints, etc. Apple also ran a successful campaign using Vertical Videos.

What are the new trends that you see in the music streaming industry and what is Gaana doing to keep ahead of competitors?

We feel Voice Dialog ads and Dynamic Audio will be very interesting units that advertisers can take advantage of to reach users in a native environment. Demand for customized short form snackable content and long form podcasts are gaining traction amongst the ad community.

How do you view the experiential and activations medium? What are your recent activities or upcoming plans in the space?

During the pandemic, music concerts have not been happening and audiences are starved of this form of entertainment. We feel our Gaana ‘Live’ feature will be an excellent alternative for artistes and brands to reach out to audiences and create a unique experience of enjoying concerts sitting in the safety and comfort of their homes. This also helps us by offering multiple forms of user engagement. Our latest Gaana Live with Dua Lipa Studio 2054 was a roaring success with more than 1,50,000 users attending it.

What are the priorities for you right now? What are the targets you have set for Gaana overall?

Our goal is to reach 250 million MAUs by end of this financial year. We believe that the music streaming industry will grow to about 500 million users by 2023 and we would continue to lead the market.

In an exclusive conversation with EVENTFAQS Media, Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana shares insights on revenue growth, brand associations, new trends, future plans and more.

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