Saavn now has original podcasts, want to change radio in India

Saavn is going the way of original programming to tap those who still listen to the radio. Here's why the company thinks that its podcasts will be big.

Written by Karthekayan Iyer | Updated: May 1, 2016 1:43 pm
Saavn, Saavn music streaming service, Saavn app, Saavn Radio podcast, Saavn podcast, Saavn podcasts, Saavn subscription, Saavn vs Gaana.com, Saavn vs Apple Music, technology news, technology Saavn is launching original podcasts as it aims to change radio in India.

Saavn, which is one of India’s leading music streaming service, is launching original programming for those who listen to the radio. In a conversation with IndianExpress.com, Saavn cofounder Paramdeep Singh said, “Radio isn’t dead but has evolved into more diversified content often referred to as podcasts.”

Saavn believes podcast is the new way to go for audio, one that will engage users for a longer period of time. If Netflix is the new video, Saavn wants to be its audio equivalent. The music-streaming service claims to have over 18 million monthly active users.

What is a Podcast? Podcast is the modern day radio or simply “radio of the future”. If you opened Saavn app this morning, you might have already discovered new podcasts available for streaming.

With original programming, Saavn aims to transform into a platform that goes beyond music artists, but as one that also allows music producers and sound engineers to bring their ideas to life.

Paramdeep says that the company will however stay true to its core business of aggregating content, but sees original programming as an organisation within the organisation. Saavn, which recently raised $100 million from Tiger Global Management and others, is widely acclaimed as the Spotify of India and this move can be seen as a teaser to its imminent video streaming launch.

With Netflix (and binge watching) gaining popularity, Saavn’s original programming debut couldn’t have come at a better time. The difference is subtle too. Saavn will only co-produce the show, won’t be writing the shows. Paramdeep says Saavn can provide production support, or help execute a well-written script.

Also see: Saavn: An Indian music streaming service that wants to thrive on regional content

Saavn’s original series starts with Neelesh Misra’s ‘Qisson Ka Kona’ and ‘Time Machine’. The original programming series also gets some popular content like ‘Cyrus Says’ from Indus Vox Media. Also on board is renowned cricket commentator Ayaz Memon, who will be sharing his thoughts on the state of affairs of cricket in his weekly podcast named ‘Cricket Wallah Chronicles’. For folks interested in crime series, there is a show that chronicles the Aarushi Talwar case called ‘Trial by Error: The Aarushi Files.’

Last year, Apple introduced its own music streaming service Apple Music with a feature called Connect. Connect serves as a one stop place to explore music by different kind of artists, including upcoming artists.

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Saavn is exploring a similar initiative with its Artist-in-Residence program, a creative platform highlighting new artists and bands. Saavn has signed Nucleya as its first Artist-in-Residence. The Indie electronic artist will produce original music for Saavn, and will also help budding artists bring their music on board.

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