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To win music streaming in India, Apple and Spotify will have to battle local incumbent JioSaavn

To win music streaming in India, Apple and Spotify will have to battle local incumbent JioSaavn
[Illustration: Fabrizio Morra]





Apple Music is gaining a foothold in India, and Spotify plans to enter the market in 2019, but “to achieve scale in India you need local advantage,” says JioSaavn CEO Rishi Malhotra. The music-streaming company, which was formed in October 2018 when streaming startup Saavn merged with telco giant Reliance’s JioMusic service, offers more than 40 million tracks in 15 regional languages for 38 million monthly active users. It’s now wooing the telco’s 272 million high-speed mobile customers. Part of the pitch: JioSaavn offers highly flexible plans–users can choose from various tiers and sign up for a month or a year. Inspired by Netflix, the company also creates original content with independent artists via its own music label, which it promotes on the platform. Already, the company has had several top-three hits on the iTunes India charts–a rare accomplishment for songs that don’t come from a Bollywood movie soundtrack.

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