| 08 Feb 2023
Saavn's gradual and system approach to exploit video, explained at Vidnet

MUMBAI: In an attempt to get the several entertainment industries understand each other better, the first edition of Vidnet 2.0 held in Mumbai focused largely and extensively on OTT and VOD services that have emerged in the ecosystem lately. With several agendas, the sessions categorically elaborated and discussed on the way forward for these players and Managing Director of Saavn, Mahesh Narayanan shared insights on the evolution of Saavn into a ‘beyond-the-audio’ platform.

Saavn (South Asian Audio Video Network) began its penetration in the Indian market as a music streaming service and gradually created a loyal fan-base and subscribers through its content. The nature of content extended to other forms of audio (story-telling, interviews and so on). Lately, the service has been focusing on the ‘video’ front. And further explaining on the same, Narayanan spoke at the session ‘Content Paradigm, moderated by Anil Wanvari (Founder & CEO of with a panel that included the who’s who of the digital world.

Upon asked if Saavn is systematically creating video-driven content to push its audio content, Narayanan briefed about Saavn’s latest approach. “We are a music streaming platform. What we tend to do is package the whole content in a very different way and allow the user to access the content in the ways they may not have done before. For example, we have been arranging live sessions at Saavn office where musicians (across genres) perform and the content can be accessed by the fans on Facebook Live at the same time. These musicians perform at a pre-announced time. The audience base gets to watch the artist live, and thus, the approach helps musician(s) to push his compositions,” replied Narayanan.

The approach surely has worked in the favour of the musicians, and that can be seen through the consistent flow of the content in similar fashion on consistent basis on the service’s social media pages. The panel agreed that the current scenario is a ‘pull’ world. Across the styles of entertainment, the quality makes an essential requirement.

Narayanan further informed that these live sessions are repackaged and the live versions are available at Saavn.

Supporting his claim of pushing the audio content through emphasis on videos, Narayanan provided the example of the latest Saavn Original ‘Film Companion with Anupama Chopra’, where the first episode featured the music composers, Vishal-Shekhar, Amit Trivdei and Ehsaan Noorani. “We had the impressive cast of music directors, and we shot the whole interview format on video. And used that as a promotional byte and packaging for promoting original content on Saavn.”

The Managing Director added how the company has executed its brand integrations through one of its association with Mountain Dew. The music service created content that aligned with the beverage brand’s objectives of ‘scaling heights’ through bringing in personalities that have enormous success.

Saavn’s brave initiatives to explore a region that streaming services have often fell short in achieving so, provides it an edge over its competitor. And continuing with the practice, Narayanan said that the company would like to explore one interesting area that has attracted several other players’ attention lately. “From music perspective, kids content is a direction that we intend to head in. It’s almost like a secure zone, which is why YouTube has YouTube kids zone too. In this area, nursery rhymes or lullabies provide us an opportunity. However, the trick is to create the zone and make it secure and then the brands and agencies can gain faith in you.

It was only inevitable for Saavn to start creating video content, and the approach adopted to achieve so has surely led to effective and fruitful results so far.