Reliance Jio director Akash Ambani. Photo: PTI
Reliance Jio director Akash Ambani. Photo: PTI

JioSaavn will help lower music piracy: Experts

All current JioMusic and Saavn users will migrate to the integrated JioSaavn platform, which will be available across app stores

New Delhi: Saavn Media Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), announced the launch of JioSaavn, a streaming, entertainment and artiste platform that represents the official integration of JioMusic and Saavn.

Saavn was acquired by RIL in March this year after. The implied valuation of the combined entity stands at over $1 billion.

All current JioMusic and Saavn users will migrate to the integrated JioSaavn platform, which will be available across app stores, including the Jio app store, on JioPhone, as well as on the JioSaavn website. All users having access to the ad-supported product. Jio subscribers will gain access to free services of the integrated app, besides a 90-day extended free trial of JioSaavn Pro, the streaming service’s premium product.

“JioSaavn represents a turning point for the music streaming industry in India, as the country continues to experience accelerated technological innovation, rapid adoption of digital services and a digital music industry at par with global leaders," said Akash Ambani, director, Reliance Jio, in a statement.

For industry experts, a large player like Jio promoting music streaming aggressively is good news.

“Piracy continues to be a big problem for the music industry. Streaming has already meant a revival of the music market in India and having low-cost streaming available on a large platform will inculcate in users the habit of using a good product and interface and push competitors to do more," according to Jehil Thakkar, partner at management consulting firm Deloitte India.

The music streaming market has grown tremendously in the last two years to around 150 million monthly active users, a 10% penetration, according to Prashan Agarwal, chief executive officer at rival streaming service Gaana. “The market is expected to grow to 400 million users in the next two years. We believe that a competitive market is a healthy development as it will help deploy massive investments required on educating users to consume music legally. This will allow the market to grow much faster."

According to the Ficci-EY media and entertainment industry report 2018, sale of music through digital channels accounted for around 65% of overall music sales in India in 2017. The industry is currently valued at 1,280 crore and 93% of the people surveyed for a study by the Indian Music Industry reported using mobile devices for music consumption in 2017.

“We are very excited about the JioSaavn integration and hope it will push subscription-based (music) revenues in India, providing music labels the much-needed revenue line," according to Vikram Mehra, managing director at music label Saregama India.

JioSaavn will continue to build on Saavn’s original programming and artist development platform, Artist Originals (AO), which the latter initiated in 2016.

“Since announcing our merger in March 2018, Jio and Saavn teams have been working to integrate and reimagine a combined platform in JioSaavn," said Rishi Malhotra, co-founder and chief executive officer, JioSaavn, in a statement. “Today, we have one of the most personalised and capable media platforms in the world, an unmatched content catalog, regionalised editorial and original programming and music that’s redefining how artistes and creators connect directly with audiences worldwide."

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