| 05 Dec 2023
"Saavn and Sony will partner on further initiative on discovery, and exposure"

US-originating music streaming service Saavn recently partnered with Sony Music on its audio seeding activity for the film ‘Khamoshiyan.' The seeding activity, 'Khamoshiyan Hear it First,' involved a 60 second audio edit of the film’s title track before any communication of the film was out. caught up with  Saavn co-founder and executive chairman Paramdeep Singh to get an understanding of what the partnership was all about and its efficiency. Excerpts:

Explain the overall partnership between Sony Music and Saavn?

Saavn and Sony Music have worked closely together since January 2011, as Saavn was Sony Music’s first direct Internet streaming partner. In many ways, both companies together defined the parameters for Interactive Internet Streaming Rights in India. Content-wise, Sony Music’s entire catalog of Hindi, English, Tamil, and other regional language top-charting songs are all available for streaming on Saavn. Additionally, both companies work together on marketing initiatives, as well – particularly, the Hear it First on Saavn initiative, which is what sparked the success of ‘Khamoshiyan.’

What did this particular initiative involve?

This was an exclusive digital release for ‘Khamoshiyan,’ sung by playback singer Arijit Singh and composed by Jeet Ganguly and Ankit Tiwari. The initiative consisted of two phases: The first phase was a five-day promotional period that went live on 5th December. Saavn streamed a 60-second teaser to promote the countdown to the exclusive streaming release of the entire track. On 10 December, three days prior to its official release, the full ‘Khamoshiyan’ song was made available for streaming. There will be an additional exclusive song launch, and the full Khamoshiyan album will also be pre-released exclusively on Saavn.

How did the track perform?

It broke single day records for streaming, search and sharing on Saavn.

What do you think is the connection between streaming and the success of music on its own merit?

Before streaming was introduced to the market as a viable - and legal - means of distributing music, Indian music lovers generally discovered music through films. With digital distribution, playback singers have an opportunity to get their music out there on larger scale without having to depend on the marketing for a film. The success of 'Khamoshiyan' demonstrates that Indians are eager for quality, stand-alone music and streaming is the best medium to deliver it.

How did is stream compare to other exclusive releases?

While we do not discuss specific streaming numbers, we can say that this is a very significant number of day-one streams. The title track teaser was the first teaser to make the top five tracks on its debut day, and the first content ever to do so on Saavn without having been featured in our Weekly Top 15. Overall, the release has certainly broken all records for both Saavn and Sony Music.

What is next for Saavn and Sony Music?

The collaboration has been highly productive for both companies, and we look forward to executing similar initiatives, as well as expanding on our partnership, in 2015.

What might an expansion of your partnership look like?

We are not ready to share the details just yet, but both partners are working towards better content discovery, exposure, programming, and breaking of new music to our various user segments. We want to get the most relevant music to the set of users that are looking for that music on a consistent basis. Overall, as Saavn’s user base continues to grow and engage, our content partners like Sony Music will be provided the relevant data to continue to deliver the music that our users want to hear. 

What are your predictions for India’s music listening trends (and the music industry, in general) for 2015?

We continue to be excited about the macro trends of broadband and 3G/4G mobile data penetration in India. Additionally, as smartphone adoption continues to grow beyond just the metros and into the B and C cities, we are looking forward to bringing millions of new users a better music experience across India. We also believe that this is going to further divide the user segments across languages, regions, and genres. We are also seeing a larger trend towards independent music artists building larger fan followings by making their content available on Saavn. Overall, unlike just a few years ago and for decades past where the music industry was intertwined and highly dependent on the film industry, the music industry in India is truly growing into a standalone industry on its own.