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India is a complicated mkt with a large audience: Saavn’s Co-Founder

Music entertainment is booming in India with a host of home-grown music streaming apps such as Gaana, Wynk Music, and Saavn. Each of these applications have seen the India market in a different way and altered its services for the Indian consumer. In conversation with Digital Market Asia, Vinodh Bhat, Co-Founder and President of Saavn shares his insights into the Indian market and what Saavn offers to its audience.

Currently the music streaming service enjoys a base of 13 million users in India and adding thousands of new users to its platform every day they are coming organically and as well as via partnerships with Facebook, ecommerce platforms, phone manufacturers etc.

Mr Bhat described Saavn as a digital music streaming service and a consumer media and technology company. Before launching Saavn in India, they surveyed the Indian landscape and saw India as an underserved marketplace in 2006 in terms of music entertainment. Since then, India emerged to be a complicated market as it has one of the largest population of listeners but the organised music industry in India wasn’t sufficient to serve such a large audience base.

“The users were getting a broken experience as only six per cent of the music industry in India was organised. It was the broken experience of music in India which drove people to piracy,” pointed Mr Bhat.

However, every technology-based company in India has to deal with concerns related to data connectivity, low bandwidth and power congestion, among others. But Mr Bhat pressed that Saavn comes will a lot of invisible features on its backend in terms of user friendless and smart streaming which makes the application functional under poor data conditions.

“We evolved from a syndication service to one focussed on technology. Saavn is working on three basic principles which makes us a user-first company. We want the services to be available to everyone. It should be easy and delightful to use and serve as a powerful entertainment medium,” he said.

Music is certainly a powerful medium and brands in India are intrigued by the same on back of its popularity with the youth in the country. “We are a user-first company and in order to generate revenues one of the assets that Saavn can offer to marketers is its user attention,” said Mr Bhat. In an over saturated market like India, advertisers are demanding only for a few seconds of user enagement which Saavn offers via its audio-embedded ads and call to action-based advertisements.

Saavn’s native advertisement platform that was launched in October 2014 has also lent visibility to brand advertising on the platform which gives 15 seconds of audio and 15 minutes of display via call to action for the brand. The list of 200+ brands that Saavn is working with include Ford, Hyundai, Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, Colgate, Kotak, Flipkart, and Samsung, among other domestic players.