Indian Streaming Music Service Dhingana Launches Ad-Free Paid Subscriptions

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Dhingana, a streaming music service for Indian and Bollywood tunes, announced today that it is launching Dhingana Gold, its first subscription service for iOS and the second part of its monetization model.

Gold subscriptions, which cost $1.99 a month and are available as an in-app purchase within Dhingana’s free iOS app, include premium features such as ad-free service, the ability to download and sync unlimited songs across up to two devices and access to streaming music in high-definition quality up to 320 kbps.

Dhingana is not currently releasing updated user statistics, but as of October 2012 it had 15 million monthly active visitors, with 40 percent of those visitors located outside of India. The music service launched in 2007 and spent its first few years building its content and user base before taking the first step toward monetization with the launch of its advertising platform in August 2012. The company said at the time that ad sales would make up about 70 percent to 80 percent of Dhingana’s revenue, with the rest coming from subscription services. Dhingana Gold subscribers can also access music offline, a potential draw for users with limited data plans on their mobile phones.

“We have embarked on a three-pronged strategy for monetization at Dhingana,” Dhingana CEO Rohit Bhatia said by email. “The first being advertising on the mobile and web platforms, the second is an in-app Gold subscription on iOS and the third will be subscription on Android devices with mobile operator billing.”

“Our users have been requesting for the ability to download songs and enjoy music without ads for some time now. We carefully crafted our Gold subscription service to meet our users’ demand while at the same time giving them a premium music experience like none other,” added Dhingana co-founder and COO Swapnil Shinde.

The streaming music service has offices in Pune, India, and Sunnyvale, Calif. It raised $7 million in Series B funding last October in a round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners, with participation from Helion Venture Partners and Inventus Capital Partners.