Eyeing The Indian Market, Facebook Partners With Saavn On Global Social Music Service

Saavn, a startup that’s been called the Spotify for Indian music, has partnered with Facebook to launch its social and global music service on the social network. The integration, which debuted in December, has already brought over 700,000 new Facebook users to the network, says Saavn.

Saavn (which stands for South Asian Audio Video Network) is an ad-supported digital music service for Bollywood, Indian and regional South Asian music available globally on Web, iOS and Android that allows users to create and listen to playlists for free; Saavn makes money via targeted display and rich media ad units for global advertisers. The platform is a little bit like Spotify in that it allows users to listen to Indian music on-demand and create and share playlists, and also adds an element of Pandora with a radio function. Users can create radio stations by song, and Saavn will show users similar songs to the initial track.

The company boasts the most comprehensive catalogue of Indian music, licensed from over 200 content providers. While the service is free, premium features include offline access and more. Saavn has 1million-plus tracks under license, which is 99% of the known catalog across Bollywood, regional, and devotional music.

With Saavn’s partnership with Facebook, the startup launched an app that allows users to discover and share music from their Facebook Timeline, Ticker, and News Feed. It’s similar in some way to the integrations Facebook launched with Spotify and others last year. One of the big differences is that Saavn has a niche audience when it comes to the genre of music. And Saavn has struck global distribution deals with its content partners so that music can be streamed to any location. In fact, the service is available globally with users from 219 countries. Now, nearly half of Saavn’s new registered users now use Facebook Connect.

In its first four weeks as a Facebook Open Graph partner, daily new users of the Saavn Facebook application increased a whopping 40 times, with content shares increasing four-fold and monthly active users jumping from 35,000 to 785,000. These users have generated over 750 million Facebook story impressions since launch. Currently Savvn has 1.3 million users across India, Indonesia, the Phillippines, Turkey and even the U.S.

For Facebook, Saavn could be one way in which Facebook increases its user base in India. The country is already a high growth area for Facebook, but there is still roomfor more user acquisition in the country. Savvn says the music is a particularly appealing way to bring users online in India, as music is an integral part of the country’s culture. As Saavn explains, “We are helping Facebook build local relevance in India through Indian music. Bollywood is a cultural phenomena that connects all of India’s 30+ languages and religions.”