Crucial consolidation in music streaming space: Reliance buys Saavn to merge with JioMusic

JioMusic

This year music streaming platforms are having a ball in India. After Gaana’s $115 million fundraise from Tencent last month, RIL has signed a pact to acquire Saavn music app for $104 million in cash and rest in stock. The total worth of stocks offered by Reliance Industries to the music streaming major is yet to be public.

The Mukesh Ambani-led group will merge Saavn with its music streaming product JioMusic. The merged entity has also become Unicorn with $1 billion in valuation.

The deal will give 75 per cent ownership to RIL in the combined entity. Reliance Industry has implied that JioMusic current valuation stood at $670 million. Since the merged entity is valued at about $1 billion, Saavn appears to have valued $330 million.

Reliance Industry is also buying the partial stake from the existing investors of the music streaming app, including Tiger Global Management, Bertelsmann Liberty Media, and others.

Notably, the co-founders of Saavn, Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat will continue running operations of the combined entity in leadership roles. The 12 years old company had secured an undisclosed amount of funding from Oseary in 2016.

A year ago, Saavn had scooped up $100 million in a round led by Tiger Global Management. In November last year, it on-boarded two strategic investors – Senvest Management and global entertainment company Endeavor.

Also read: TIL-owned Gaana raises $115 Mn round from Tencent

The deal also beefs up Reliance Jio positioning against its rival Airtel’s music streaming platform Wynk and Times Internet-owned Gaana. Recently, Wynk had claimed number 2 spot in music streaming segment with 75 million application downloads.

Meanwhile, Gaana has a pole position in online music streaming service. It had surpassed 50 million monthly active users with a staggering 92 million downloads in December last year. 

BookMyShow also forayed into audio entertainment with Jukebox in June last year. It had acquired on-demand audio and video platform Nfusion to use its tech stack for building BookMyShow’s audio entertainment vertical.

Apart from the aforementioned players, Amazon launched its music streaming service Amazon Music in India. Launched last month, the service is, however, limited to Prime members only, that costs Rs 999 annually.

Last week, Sweden-based music streaming giant Spotify also announced to launch service in India.

The news was first reported by ET.

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