Music Streaming Service Dhingana Shutting Down?

dhingana-thumb.gifMusic streaming site Dhingana might be shutting down, according to a new report. The service, founded by brothers Swapnil & Snehal Shinde, has been struggling to monetize its offering while record labels have hiked licensing costs.

Sound Box, a music trade magazine, yesterday cited record label officials as saying that the service has decided to shut down. “Apparently, Dhingana personally called a label and informed about the end of their run in the streaming business,” the magazine reported.

Dev Khare, a board member at Dhingana & Principal (India) at Lightspeed Venture Partners which has invested $7 mn in the company, told NextBigWhat in an e-mail that the venture firm doesn’t comment on such matters as a matter of practice

An e-mail to Swapnil Shinde & Rohit Bhatia went unanswered. 

Neeraj Kalyan, the president of T-Series said

T-Series has not renewed it’s license for Dhingana.com and T-Series’ music has been withdrawn from the site with immediate effect. We were not able to see much traction from this platform as compared to other similar services in India and abroad and thus decided to part ways in an amiable manner. (source)

Rohit Bhatia, the CEO of Dhingana told MediaNama that the company is in the process of restructuring and that further updates will have to wait until early next week

As we’d written earlier, many players in the digital music industry have shut shop. Recent developments include the shutdown of In.com which used to stream music along with other things, Nokia’s decision to shut its music website in India, Google pulling the plug on music search in India, and Flipkart shutting Flyte, its mp3 store. We feel that this is just the beginning for digital music in India. While consumption seems to be growing, monetization continues to be a challenge. Saavn, Gaana, Hungama and iTunes are other players in the space.

Digital Music Industry Trends in India*

Digital Vs Physical1. Shift to mobile: This trend is hard to miss. Music consumption has shifted to the mobile. While desktop downloads were prevalent in the past, most music service providers are now focusing on mobile. Nokia’s move to shut its website and keep its mobile music service alive underlines this trend. The smartphone explosion and improving mobile data infrastructure is aiding this trend.

2. From Per Download Charges to Subscription based billing: Earlier this year in February, Saavn launched its pro version for subscribers. In June, Gaana launched a new version of its app and Gaana+, a premium subscription based service. Most of them are charging users for offline listening while streaming is free. In July, Dhingana launched its ad-free paid subscription for iOS & revamped its website. Dhingana Gold costs $1.99 per month. Others have followed suit.

3. VAS in trouble: The music industry used to make a lot of money from hello tunes that were sold to mobile phone subscribers. This seems to have gone down recently. With regulations around Value Added Services getting tighter, this business has taken a hit and we will see this continuing into the future.

4. Telco Tie-ups: Like with the messaging apps, we see digital music companies launching co-branded music subscription service with Telcos.

*From our earlier post