Indian music streaming company Gaana is ditching its free tier and moving to a paid-only subscription model.
According Reutersthe move comes after Spotify’s rival failed to raise new investment or attract a buyer.
The article notes that the app, which has more than 100 million users, did not allow free streaming since Friday, September 9.
Reuters reports that he saw an email sent by Gaana to “musical partners” stating that a potential acquisition deal had “failed”.
Although the other party was not named in the email, citing sources, Reuters reports that acquisition talks were with India-based telecommunications company Bharti Airtel.
It was reported last month that Airtel was in “serious talks” to buy Gaana. Airtel and Gaana reportedly negotiated a potential deal for several weeks, according to reports published in July.
According Reuters‘ report, Sachin Kamble, Gaana’s Head of Content and Partnerships, announced the service’s move to a paid subscription in the email, further noting that Gaana had failed to “bring in new investment.”
Said Kamble in the email: “Now we are at (a) crossroads – relax/find a way to move on…we have decided to try again. Therefore we have closed streaming for free users today and (we are moving) to the paid-only model”.
The email continued: “We will need your support on this otherwise we will have to shut down completely.”
Gaana CEO Sandeep Lodha said Reuters on a text message saying “We’re not closing”.
Gaana – majority-owned by Times Internet – raised 2.49 billion rupees from Chinese tech and media giant Tencent Holdings last year by issuing convertible shares.
This deal valued Gaana at around $570 million at $580 million at the time, according to Entrackr.
Citing one of his sources, Reuters said Gaana was also struggling to raise funds from investors, including Tencent.
“Gaana is a solid company that is more focused on the subscription business with the intention of being a sustainable business for years to come.”
Spokesperson, Gaana (TALKING TO Reuters)
A Gaana spokesperson said Reuters in a statement that the content of the email sent to Gaana’s music partners “is read out of context”. and that the email was sent “in the context of private negotiations”.
Gaana’s spokesperson added, “Gaana is a solid company that is more focused on the subscription business with the intention of being a sustainable business for years to come.”The music industry around the world