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Indian streaming service appoints former Google exec as COO

By | Published on Friday 23 January 2015


Indian streaming service Saavn, originally a Bollywood focused set-up, but which signed the final of its licensing deals with the three majors last August, has appointed a former Google India executive as its COO.

Mahesh Narayanan says of his new gig: “I’ve had the opportunity to help many leading global technology media companies achieve success, and I genuinely believe that Saavn is primed for the same calibre of success too”.

He will be charged with helping the streaming firm grow its user-base and maintain its edge in the Indian market in the face of plenty of new competition, from home-grown services and new international entrants into the market, including Rdio and Guvera.

According to TechCrunch, Saavn says it currently has eleven million monthly active users, with 70% of usage coming from within India. The firm doesn’t reveal what the split is between freemium and premium subscribers, though the latter part of the user-base has increased “six fold” in the last year.

90% of streaming via Saavn is to mobile devices, which is perhaps unsurprising for a service focused on the Indian market, though it’s still a very high percentage, and presumably Narayanan’s stint running Google’s mobile advertising operations in the region was in part behind the streaming music company’s decision to recruit him.