Dhingana is a music service that specifically targets the enormous quantity of Indian music lovers online through a streaming service that has stats comparable to Spotify or Pandora. For Indian music that plays such an important part in the culture of over 1.2 billion people, it’s surprising that it’s an issue that has barely been tackled online. “Dhingana is one of the largest on-demand Indian streaming music services today, on Web and mobile,” says co-founder Snehal Shinde, adding “We are streaming almost 100 million minutes of music every month.”
The Indian music market is tied tightly to the movie industry in the country, particularly in Bollywood, where films are built around the soundtracks. Dhingana has managed to secure licensing with over 500 music labels in India, streaming music in 35 different languages across the country. “Our applications are usually dominated on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia devices,” says Shinde, who started the company with his brother, Swapnil, in 2007 and bootstrapped it until 2010 when they raised a Series A, which Shinde says went entirely to improving their technology – they’ve spent nothing on marketing their service.
Dhingana’s biggest spurt in users has come just since the launch of their Social Radio earlier this year, which saw the user base grow 300 percent. For the Social Radio app, Dhingana partnered with Facebook to pull info from the social graph about users, and their friend’s, listening habits, as well as likes and dislikes, to suggest a music stream dedicated to users’ ears.
The app works on both Web and mobile platforms as well, which covers iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia devices. Dhingana claims that their social streaming offers up better suggestions than Spotify can offer, by digging deeper into listeners’ habits. Last month alone, the service streamed 120 million recommendations.
Dhingana’s mobile penetration is a unique, split with 35 percent of their iPhone users and 80 percent of their Android users based in India, as well 40 percent of their users are located in Canada, the US, UK, and Australia.
“The music labels are quite excited about partnering with us because we are trying to provide a service which is completely free to the end user,” says Shinde, offering up a quick way for companies to market their latest tunes to the audiences in India without it getting lost amid the hundreds of thousands of other songs streaming on their site.
“We want to make sure that 100 percent of the music that you look for, with an Indian perspective, is on Dhingana,” says Shinde. As well, they’re with the blurred lines between India’s music and film industry, Dhingana is looking to foster more partnerships and help music labels get their tunes to the listeners’ ears even faster. As well, they hope to target a more diverse amount of mobile platforms in the region as Java-based phones are still a popular alternative.
One of the issues of Dhingana must deal with is services users from around the world and providing music that’s streamed in 35 different languages. “We do rely on a certain amount of crowd sourcing to improve the content for users,” says Shinde.
“We also listen to the users and what they’re looking for, as well as deep analysis of all our products to figure out what we should be spending more time on. And then we increase the content in that particular genre and language.”
[Image courtesy SamikRC]