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Saavn, ‘India’s Spotify’, Reveals It Has 11M Monthly Users And Hires Ex-Google Exec

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It’s looking like 2015 will be a big year for India’s music streaming space. A week after Rdio’s arrival in the country, Saavn — a New York/India startup that was among the first to cater to India — is pushing its credentials after hiring former Google India executive and startup figure Mahesh Narayanan as its COO.


That’s not all, however, Saavn has revealed that it has 11 million monthly active users — that’s the first time that the company has gone public on its userbase in two years. Back in February 2013, it claimed 10.5 million active users, but that was during Facebook’s viral heyday when a number of services rode high with inflated user numbers generated by the social network, only to watch their figures (and businesses) crash as Facebook’s social algorithm was altered to decrease virality.

This time the numbers are for real, Saavn CEO and co-founder Rishi Malhotra told TechCrunch in an interview. He explained:

Those figures were released almost before companies knew what stats meant. Facebook brought a lot of people into the registration funnel… but where we’ve arrived at now is definitive systems to see how many people touched the product each month.

Activity-wise, four-year-old Saavn is “approaching” 200 million streams per month, after the volume of streaming increased three-fold during the past twelve months.

Malhotra said that Saavn saw 30 million people use its service in 2014. Last year also marked the first time Android overtook iOS on download figures — according to the Google Play Store, Saavn for Android has between 10-50 million downloads.

Saavn claimed that the number of users paying for its ‘Pro’ service increased 6X in 2014, but Malhotra did not disclose how many are paying versus using the ad-support free version.

The Saavn CEO did reveal that 70 percent of Saavn’s usage comes from inside India, while 90 percent of streaming is on mobile devices.

That’s an incredible data that Malhotra puts down to Saavn’s popularity in India, a mobile first market. To give an idea of how high that mobile rate is, Spotify just revealed that it sees 52 percent of streaming from mobile devices. Saavn is on the next level.

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