Wednesday November 20, 2019
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YouTube Announces Launch of its New Music Streaming App in India

In the crowded Indian music streaming industry, the newly-launched Spotify has already garnered over one million users

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YouTube, Google, google services
The YouTube Music app is displayed on a mobile phone in Los Angeles. VOA

In a bid to grab a pie of the growing Indian audio streaming industry, Google-owned YouTube on Tuesday announced the launch of its new music streaming app YouTube Music in the country.

This is the second big debut of a global music streaming giant in India after Swedish platform Spotify made its way into the country late last month.

The ad-supported version of YouTube Music is free and to get access to ad-free YouTube Music Premium, you have to pay Rs 99 a month, the company said in a statement.

“It’s interesting to note how Indian artists have consistently claimed top spots over the last few months in the ‘Global YouTube Top Artists’ chart.

“With YouTube Music, we are hoping to bring the best in global and Indian music to millions of fans across India, and give them an immersive music experience,” said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music, YouTube.

YouTube
YouTube. Pixabay

The company also announced to bring “YouTube Premium” to India which would be available for Rs 129 a month that oncluded membership to YouTube Music Premium, offline downloads and access to all YouTube originals.

“Samsung Galaxy S10 users can enjoy four months of free, ad-free access to YouTube Premium,” said the company.

YouTube Music would throw a big competition to services like Gaana, Saavn, Apple Music and Amazon Music.

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In the crowded Indian music streaming industry, the newly-launched Spotify has already garnered over one million users.

According to a recent report by Deloitte and Indian music-industry body IMI, the audio and video OTT market in India is valued at around $280 million. The evolving audio OTT market provides nearly 150 million monthly active users access to millions of soundtracks across platforms. (IANS)

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)