Analysis

Saavn on streaming music in India: ‘This is just the beginning’


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“The market in India just continues to become more millennial and more digital every day, and more driven by the mobile handsets. We’ve got 2m to 2.5m phones moving every week.”

Rishi Malhotra, chief executive of streaming service Saavn, is explaining to Music Ally why he sees such promise in India, the market that has driven his company to the point where it has 18 million active users streaming 250m songs a month.

That’s also the promise that persuaded investors to back Saavn with a $100m funding round in July 2015, based on the company’s growth in a competitive market where local rivals include Gaana and Hungama, as well as international players like Apple Music.

“My way of describing India is that it’s beautifully disorganised. There’s a huge volume of people: 1.3 billion, 1.4 billion people, and 700 million SIM cards active there,” says Malhotra.

“And if you look at the stats, in the next three to four years, you’re going to have over 50% of the population in India being under the age of 30. Plus, there’s a huge, rising middle class, and also people are bi and trilingual – and one of those languages is English. And that’s fuelling a lot of these changes.”

Stuart Dredge

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