India-focused music service Saavn is upping its social game after it partnered with Twitter to introduce a tweet-powered radio station for its users.
The company serves up “millions” of Indian music tracks and international hits, offering a Spotify-style choice of an ad-supported free version or a subscription-based, ad-free model. It launched its radio mode one year ago, and now it is taking requests from users who tweet to the @SaavnRadio account.
The station will also mix in tracks that Saavn users are sharing to Twitter from the service, although the company said specific requests will be prioritized over social shares.
Saavn Co-Founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra told TechCrunch in an interview that the radio feature already accounts for over half of all activity on the service and, since a large number of users are already active on Twitter, the union was a no-brainer for him.
“Music streaming has always been an inherently social service, we [at Saavn] already see lots of activity from users worldwide and identified a natural opportunity to create a radio station. This puts the power of programming into our users’ hands,” he said.
Malhotra also hinted that Saavn is preparing more social features next year, but he said that these new releases will be within the Saavn service itself, such as collaborative playlists.
“So far we’ve avoided adding our own social features as we want to get to a certain scale first,” he explained.
Saavn hasn’t revealed user numbers since 2013, when it claimed 10 million monthly active users thanks to the benefits of Facebook’s then algorithm, which has since been tweaked to dial down the viral effect of apps. Saavn recently told TechCrunch that it will release updated figures in the coming month or two.
Twitter has tried and failed with its own music service, and these days it is seemingly content to be a platform for dedicated music players like Saavn, SoundCloud and others.
“Saavn is the perfect company to work with as we look to contribute to music accessibility and music discovery for our international users, particularly in the Asian market, in an age where social sharing has no borders,” said Arvinder Gujral, Twitter’s Director of Business Development for India and Southeast Asia, in a statement.
Malhotra further revealed that the two parties began discussing this coming-together as recently as September, which makes its introduction today particularly impressive and speedy.
“We’re very deliberate and thoughtful about our partnerships,” the Saavn CEO added.
Saavn claims strong levels of social sharing across many parts of the world — click the graphic to enlarge it
New York-headquartered Saavn, which also has offices in India, raised undisclosed funding this summer and it has wasted little time cranking up its promotional efforts with some innovative partnerships.
Last month, the company linked up with Indian retailer Snapdeal to offer three months of its Pro service to Android shoppers for free, and this deal with Twitter is likely to further raise its visibility and also help Twitter’s efforts to grow in India.