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Indian streaming service Saavn bags Warner deal

By | Published on Wednesday 13 August 2014


Indian streaming service Saavn has signed a new licensing deal with Warner Music covering its recordings catalogue, meaning it now has agreements in place with all three majors.

Originally set up as a Bollywood music service, co-founder Rishi Malhotra told The Next Web: “We want to be the first stop for music in India, especially on a smartphone, whatever you are listening to. That means going beyond Bollywood and having Western music too”.

The service has over ten million active users and recently attracted Hong Kong-based hedge fund Steadview Capital as a new investor. And while the company’s current focus is on the 70% of its users who are based in India, there are plans to become more active in some territories where it sees increased engagement – the Middle East being one potential target for growth.

With its executive team now based in New York, Malhotra recently took over as CEO from Vinodh Bhat, who becomes President and Chief Strategy Officer. Explaining the changes, Malhotra said: “We have built the business together for over five years, and always made the best decisions. As we move into a product-focused approach, it made sense to align our core strengths – that’s a global sales focus for Vin and a CEO role for me”.

Although it has deals with the major record labels in place, it’s not clear what agreements, if any, it has done with indie labels or publishers of any size. A request for information on this was not immediately returned.