Saavn Adds Warner Music and EMI, Announces Shift in Executive Leadership
India’s largest digital music service will now offer music from all the major U.S. labels, as co-founders Vinodh Bhat and Rishi Malhotra swap C-level roles
"As a music service relevant to all walks of life in hundreds of markets, there are more passionate, hard-working and skilled people we need to recruit to our team, as well as many exciting partnership, alliances and revenue opportunities in front of the company. I am excited about the ability to focus on them." - Vinodh Bhat, President and Chief Strategy Officer
Saavn, the world’s leader in digital streaming for Indian music, is announcing a pair of exciting transitions for Q3. First, the company is pleased to announce the addition of Warner Music and EMI to its roster of label partnerships. Saavn is adding 800,000 English-language tracks (available only in India) from the two labels, increasing its catalog from 1.1 million songs to nearly 2 million. As the company enters this new growth phase, Saavn is also introducing Rishi Malhotra as the company’s new CEO, while founding CEO Vinodh Bhat shifts his focus to strategy, partnerships, advertising sales and talent acquisition as President of the company.
The new content deals with Warner and EMI make Saavn the only music streaming service in India to offer content from all the major Western labels, including Sony and Universal. Music lovers in India can now seamlessly stream tracks by everyone from The Grateful Dead to Madonna to LCD Soundsystem.
“India continues to be the largest music listening population in the world, and we’ll continue to invest in bringing the best music streaming experience to our users. Adding Warner and EMI to our catalog is another major milestone,” Malhotra said. “Language and country aside, music lovers want the best music, and they want it to work beautifully on their smartphones. We’re streaming everything from Coldplay to Led Zeppelin along with our unmatched catalog of Indian music. We want to be the first stop for music.”
Additionally, as Saavn approaches new milestones, co-founders Vinodh Bhat, Rishi Malhotra, Anurag Gupta (CTO), and Paramdeep Singh, who continues to serve as Executive Chairman, have decided to rearrange the company’s executive leadership structure. Bhat will take on a new role as President and Chief Strategy Officer, while Malhotra – formerly President – is now the CEO.
“We have built Saavn together for almost half a decade, and we’ve always made the best decisions for the company. As we shift into a more product-focused phase of our growth, Vin and I made some strategic management changes. I’m humbled and honored to take on the CEO position. We have a talented team around the globe, and we’re fiercely focused on building a great music streaming business for this very exciting market,” Malhotra said.
“It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience to initially help start and serve as the founding CEO of such an innovative and impactful company. From the beginning, our talented and hardworking team has been driven to do what is best for our users, and we have always been aligned around building a world-class organization,” Bhat said. “As we enter the next phase of consumer-facing growth, I am excited about Rishi’s unique combination of strong leadership, hands-on management, and product focus in the CEO role. As one of HBO’s youngest senior executives several years ago, he built a $100MM business for their multi-platform group, and many of those same skills continue to help Saavn achieve even greater heights. As a music service relevant to all walks of life in hundreds of markets, there are more passionate, hard-working and skilled people we need to recruit to our team, as well as many exciting partnership, alliances and revenue opportunities in front of the company. I am excited about the ability to focus on them.”
In the coming months, the company will be rolling out a suite of new consumer-facing products and partnerships aimed at increasing visibility and exploring new market opportunities with the 1 billion-plus Indian mobile users around the world.
About Saavn ;(South Asian Audio Video Network)
Saavn is India’s #1 digital music service. We are transforming how people around the world access and experience music on a daily basis. Saavn’s millions of listeners are given the highest quality audio experience, with titles licensed from over 900 record labels spanning music in over 20 languages. The company’s award-winning iOS and Android mobile products include proprietary phonetic search, dynamic bit rate streaming, global native ad-serving, unique radio algorithms, high performance infrastructure, and industry-leading design.
With Saavn Pro, users can listen to music ad-free and offline. And through partnerships with Apple, Google, Facebook and Shazam, Saavn reaches more music fans than any other South Asian music service. Saavn recently announced its first major ad campaign, “Here’s to the Music,” starring Ranbir Kapoor, as part of its #OurSoundtrack initiative.
Headquartered in New York City, Saavn has offices in Silicon Valley, New Delhi, and Mumbai.
For more information, visit www.saavn.com or corporate.saavn.com.
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