Shashwat leads Gaana’s brand marketing, user growth & retention initiatives. With 15 years of experience, Shashwat has handled marketing and business roles across leading FMCG & e-commerce brands across brands like Pepsi, Kurkure, Grofers and several other smaller brands.
Gaana is India’s largest commercial music streaming service with over 185 million monthly users. It was launched in April 2010 by Times Internet and provides both Indian and international music content. The entire Indian music catalogue is available to users worldwide
In today’s StraightTalk, Shashwat Goswami, Head of Marketing, Gaana talks on revolutionising the music OTT business and much more.
You come with 15+ years in the industry, not only media but also leading brands, how has your journey been?
My journey has been eventful to say the least! Just like any other career there have been ups & downs but never a dull day. I’m very grateful that I have a career I enjoy and work that I love doing.
Now as Head of Marketing at Gaana, how do you aim to revolutionise the audio OTT Business?
I feel that the music streaming market is competitive with 7-8 big players but the industry is growing and underpenetrated. The aim is to be consumer-centric to identify features, content amid experiences music lovers would love to have access to. That’s the only way to win in any business.
This pandemic and lockdown was difficult, with people not travelling. How did the audio OTT segment think of new initiatives to bring back listeners?
Streaming has been growing year-on-year and has not been significantly impacted by the pandemic. What did change was the time bands on which music was consumed as listeners largely moved to working from home and commutes reduced. We do have our listeners coming back to the app with meaningful personalized notifications about new music and releases they might like.
As an OTT App what is the penetration of the app and what is the TG across geographies and demographics?
It’s still early days for the music streaming industry with a cumulative penetration of fewer than 50% of internet penetration in the country. We feel the sector will continue to grow over the next 5 years as internet penetration and smartphone penetration grows.
You come with a FMCG background, is marketing the same across genres?
Yes and no. The basics remain the same (centred on understanding consumer needs). But every business has nuances that you learn as you start understanding what drives consumption in that category.
How the various new initiatives on audio OTT are marketed, what are some of the out of the box ideas to garner listenership?
Music itself is fast changing with content like regional and independent music growing. On top of that OTT is evolving at a faster pace with many new developments aimed at changing how people use the app e.g. autoqueue recommended vs. playlists vs. search and listen to music. This is driving ad revenue and subscriptions.
A mentor you want to mention? What specifically did you learn that has held you in good stead throughout?
Too many to mention! All my bosses and peers have been instrumental in my becoming better at my job. You learn so much from everyone you come across. One key learning from mentors has been to focus on fewer things. These are the learning’s that matter.
How do you de-stress yourself and go to activities over the weekend?
I love to spend time with family and play a sport when possible…and sleep!