New Delhi: Dhingana, the Indian music streaming startup battling to stay alive for the last few months, has finally shutdown.
Dhingana CEO Rohit Bhatia has not come out with a detailed statement on the turn of events. The only official statement from the team is the post on Dhingana’s website now showing this goodbye message:
We hope that you enjoyed listening to Dhingana as much as we enjoyed building it.
But alas, all good things must come to an end.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for letting us be a part of your musical moments!
– The Dhingana Team”
Dhingana is among the top-funded music startups in India. It raised $7 million in Series B funding in October last year from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Inventus Capital Partners and Helion Venture Partners.
Indian music streaming services face serious challenges while working with music labels and due to lack of standardisation in signing those agreements. Music piracy, causing losses for about $4 billion every year due to copyright infringement, is another big problem.
Dhingana’s crisis began when its biggest partner, T Series, said it will not renew the agreement. T-Series president Neeraj Kalyan had confirmed that the company will not renew the license set to expire for nearly 8,000 songs from Dhingana’s catalogue. Until then, Dhingana’s CEO had said discussions were on for exploring the road ahead, and it all looked like a near-death experience. But it’s all over now for Dhingana.
Gaana.com (backed by Times Internet Ltd) and Saavn (the Spotify for Indian music), continue to survive and even expand their services, thanks to the deep pockets and some innovative business models. Their success also reflects that the digital music scene in India can be a positive thing as well. Gaana itself has around 7.5 million monthly active users.
However, the streaming business has to become a paid service sometime soon to ensure independent startups are able to scale and survive, say some experts in the entertainment industry.
“The streaming business has to slowly move from free economy to paid economy as sustainability of ad-supported revenue model is a big question mark. Free music is a very dangerous thing, and we would not like our next generation grow up believing music is for free,” Neeraj Kalyan, president of T-Series had said earlier.
The online music streaming service, Dhingana, has officially shut shop. The shutting down of Dhingana now means that Gaana, Saavn and Hungama are the only three online music streaming services now available in the Indian music scene.
Over the last two years Dhingana, had introduced Android and iOS apps, and even a Windows 8 app, in an attempt to make its music content more accessible to people. Speculation is rife that with the embargoes and red-tapeism that plagues the Indian digital music scene, the company couldn’t manage to keep the ship afloat.
In an attempt to increase market share, it had also launched an Open Graphs app on Facebook, inked a two-year advertising deal with Universal Music, and even partnered with them and Sony to increase its catalogues. It also tied up with the likes of General Mobile, Idea, and launched a paid subscription for its website, before finally calling it quits in February.