Shazam has a new streaming music partner: Indian service Saavn. The companies have announced a partnership that will see Shazam ingesting Saavn’s catalogue of 1m Indian and South Asian music into its database, making it identifiable by people using Shazam’s apps.
It’s an exclusive deal in India, and is part of a wider push by Shazam to bolster its catalogue – see also its partnership with dance-music store Beatport in February 2013, or indie distributor CD Baby in March 2013.
“Our partnership with Shazam represents an exciting evolution in our ability to both provide an enjoyable listening experience as well as provide an enjoyable discovery experience,” says Saavn CEO Vinodh Bhat in a statement.
Saavn will be hoping the deal boosts its growth. The company had 9.3m active users in March 2012, but that had only grown to 10.5m by February 2013. Significant in an extremely competitive market – rivals include Dhingana and Gaana – but hardly rocketing growth. Around 80% of Saavn’s usage happens on mobile devices.
Music Ally talked to Shazam’s director of music and content Will Mills to find out more about the Saavn partnership.
“India is one of the fastest growing music industries in the world in terms of revenue and the population – not just within India, but around the world with the Indian diaspora. And Saavn are very much the leader in this space,” says Mills.
“Saavn have literally hundreds of relationships with all the independent labels, and that enables us to fill in the longer-tail experience which is increasingly important to Shazam.”
What does Saavn get out of this deal? Mills says that “on certain platforms in India” Shazam’s app will show links to stream songs on Saavn when people tag them, much as it has done with Rdio and Spotify elsewhere in the world.
The news comes shortly after Shazam reached the 300m users milestone for its apps – a figure that covers anyone who has used the service since its launch in 2002.
How many of those people are active users now? Shazam’s EVP of marketing David Jones said recently that “weekly actives are in the tens of millions, and monthly actives are many tens of millions”.
Shazam’s apps are generating $300m of digital content sales a year, the bulk of which are music downloads. The company is aggressively expanding its TV and advertising business, but Mills says music remains one of its key pillars – and that Shazam’s music and TV features may work well together for Indian music and videos.
“We’ve already run one Shazam for TV campaign in India with Airtel. The Bollywood piece plays very well to this as well: music and visuals together,” says Mills, who adds that Shazam is in talks with Saavn to launch some charts of the most-tagged Indian songs.