Reliance is all set to take its music streaming service JioSaavn public as per filings of the company’s special resolutions. At the same time, the company has continued to pour in funding to help augment JioSaavn at a time when online streaming products are gaining huge traction.
According to the ministry of corporate affairs filings accessed by Inc42, the company has issued 5,625 equity shares at a nominal value of INR 1 with a premium of INR 1,20,353.10 per share worth INR 78.94 Cr to Reliance Industries on March 21.
In a meeting on the same day, the board of JioSaavn approved the plan for the company to convert into a public company. The special resolution says, “Considering the overall business objectives and future plans of the Company, it is proposed to convert the company from Private Company to Public Company and to change the name from Saavn Media Private Limited to Saavn Media Limited.”
The company is required to comply with formalities set out in section 13, 14 and 18 of the Companies Act along with Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014.
JioSaavn’s Plan To Dominate
In March 2018, Reliance’s Jio Music and Saavn merged to jointly strengthen their foothold in the Indian music streaming market and their combined valuation was pegged at $1 Bn at the time of the merger.
JioSaavn was said to be a media platform of the future with global reach, cross-border original content, an independent artist marketplace with consolidated data and one of the largest mobile advertising mediums. Currently, the audio streaming service offers its premium service, JioSaavn Pro, at INR 99 per month and INR 399 for the full year.
Currently, JioSaavn has over 100 Mn monthly active users (MAU) with audience across 150 countries. It offers more than 50 Mn tracks in 16 regional languages which include Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi and Gujarati among others. The company has over 900 label partnerships and growing, including Universal, Sony, T-Series, Tips, YRF, Saregama, Eros and Warner Music.
In 2016, JioSaavn expanded its content offering into original programming, with a slate of non-music audio programmes and podcasts that range from Bollywood to comedy and storytelling to cricket. In early 2017, JioSaavn introduced Artist Originals, original music programming for tracks and albums by South Asian artists, songwriters and producers from around the world.
Before the merger with Jio Music, Saavn had raised $100 Mn from investors such as Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann.
India’s Music Streaming Market Grows
Availability of low-cost smartphones, cheap data packs, deeper internet penetration and millennial generation craving entertainment on the go, has pushed boundaries far open for the digital music industry in particular. Latest figures show that there are now 200 Mn people in India listening to music on streaming services.
Between 2018 and 2019, key international players such as Spotify, Amazon, and Apple have marked their entry into the Indian music streaming OTT industry. The most recent entrant is Resso from TikTok owner ByteDance, which is experimenting with social interactions within the streaming app.
According to research firm Statista, with a market volume of $4.5 Bn in 2019-20, most of the music streaming revenue is generated in the United States. In comparison, India generated $244 Mn in revenue, which is roughly 5.39% of US.
Players such as Gaana, JioSaavn, YouTube Music, Hungama, Amazon Prime Music and Spotify are continuing to scale through deep pockets and millions in funding.