Shazam — the smartphone media discovery app that is expanding from music into TV and advert discovery with the help of chief product officer Daniel Danker poached from the BBC — today announced a partnership with Indian music service Saavn — the self-proclaimed Spotify of India — to add Shazam’s recognition engine to Saavn’s catalog of South Asian music. Although Shazam is already used by 300 million people across 200 countries, it says that the Saavn agreement is the biggest deal yet for the company in the subcontinent.
Saavn, like Spotify, offers an ad-supported digital music service with more than 1 million tracks of Bollywood, Indian and regional South Asian music in its catalogue. The company recently launched a mobile web version of its music service, targeting the vast numbers of data-enabled phones in India and South Asia that lack the ability to run smartphone apps. Last year Saavn — already available in Gujarati, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu — added an English language version of the service to compete with Spotify and other Western digital music services, many of whom have yet to launch in South Asia.
“It represents the largest partnership we’ve done in this region and they will help us provide our music fans with an amazing discovery experience,” said Will Mills, Director of Music and Content for Shazam, on today’s announcement. The deal will be exclusive for a period of time, which should help Saavn in its bid to compete against other music streaming services in the region, which include Eksur and Gaana. The Indian music industry is currently growing at a rate of 60% annually, with mobile music growing 17.6% in that time, and some of that is not domestic. “The expanding Indian-American population, which has jumped by 69% over the last decade, has a median income that is nearly double the national average of $49K/year,” notes Shazam.
Saavn itself in January said it had 10 million monthly active unique users accessing its 1-million-track library.
That library of 1 million tracks has already been merged into Shazam’s existing database of 27 million tracks. For Shazam’s 300 million users the partnership should improve the app’s ability to identify songs from the growing Bollywood music genres, while making Shazam a more appealing proposition for Indian smartphone users.
Saavn’s CEO, Vinodh Bhat, described the partnership as an “exciting evolution in our ability to both provide an enjoyable listening experience as well as provide an enjoyable discovery experience.”