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Apple Music Slashes Subscription Price in India

According to consulting firm Deloitte, the online music market in India is expected to surpass $273 million by March 2020

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The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Following price cuts by domestic music streaming services like JioSaavn and Gaana in India, Apple is offering Apple Music for Rs 99 a month, slashed down from the previous Rs 120 pack rate.

India has emerged as music’s “sleeping giant” with the world’s second-largest smartphone market with cheapest data rates, hence Apple’s decision could be intended to keep pace in the competition especially with the recent Spotify and YouTube Music launches in the country, The Verge reported on Friday.

To compete with the international brands that are expanding footprint in India, the country’s local music streaming giants, JioSaavn and Gaana recently dropped their annual fee from Rs 999 and Rs 1,098 (respectively) to Rs 299.

However, both services left the pricing for monthly subscriptions untouched at 99 rupees, which may have helped Apple Music decide the threshold of their price slash to retain its position in India.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

To offer a little extra to the users, Amazon Music’s subscription is also bundled with Amazon Prime’s at Rs 129 a month or Rs 999 a year,

However, with Apple Music’s new per month plan, the iPhone-maker has become cheaper than Sptify, that charges Rs 119 for a month’s subscription in India.

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According to consulting firm Deloitte, the online music market in India is expected to surpass $273 million by March 2020. (IANS)

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First Hindu Temple Lays Foundation Stone in Abu Dhabi

The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said

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abu dhabi, hindu temple
The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. Wikimedia

The historic foundation stone-laying ceremony of the first traditional Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi was performed on Saturday in the presence of officials from India and the United Arab Emirates as well as thousands of members of the community.

The ceremony was presided over by Mahant Swami Maharaj — the spiritual leader of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha — the organisation building the temple, along with other priests. Indian Ambassador Navdeep Suri attended the event in the presence of over 2,500 Indians from the UAE and across the world, according to Gulf News.

Suri and BAPS Hindu Mandir committee head and community leader B.R. Shetty were among those who laid foundation stones. Some 50 priests from India were part of the ceremony, the Khaleej Times reported.

Crown Prince, abu dhabi, hindu temple
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Wikimedia

UAE’s Minister of Climate Change Thani Al Zoyoudi and Ahmad Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Sciences, were among the attendees.  The temple will be built in phases with all the pink stones and marble being transported from Rajasthan to the UAE capital, the Khaleej Times said.

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The stones of the temple will be hand-carved by artisans in India and then transported to Abu Dhabi. Once completed, this will be the first traditional Hindu stone temple in the Middle East.

The temple is being built on 13.5 acres (55,000 square metres) of land gifted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to the Indian community. (IANS)