Music streaming service Dhingana has inked a two year advertising deal with Universal Music, following a two week long pilot, which saw the release and promotion of three digital-only singles: Priyanka Chopra’s single “In My City,” and one each from Colonial Cousins, and Sonu Nigam’s collaboration with Avicii. How did the test go? AdWeek reports that Universal Music got a 6 percent click-through rate, with 250,000 song listens, 500,000 ad impressions and 1 million push notifications to smartphone/tablet users. The objective, for Universal, was to promote these albums and raise awareness, and increase the amount of listeners for these albums.

We find this deal interesting primarily because of the type of inventory in use, and the fact that it was used to promote music content. According to Devraj Sanjal, MD, Universal Music India, “A roadblock campaign where every subscriber has to watch our content before they can log onto the service was pretty impactful, and we were absolutely thrilled with the impact that we were able to rack in real time.” Is being forced to listen to a song is better than being forced to listen to an advertisement? Depends on the song, frankly. This is not very user friendly, and also explains the high number of song-listens.

That said, it’s great that Universal Music India is looking at the web to release its music, albeit for non-film music, over traditional avenues like television. According to a note from Dhingana, Sanjal says that Universal wants to co-create a “a world where Bollywood music and all other non-film music can coexist side by side.”

In October last year, Dhingana announced a $7 million fund-raising from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Inventus Capital Partners and Helion Venture Partners.

Note that Dhingana’s competitor, Times Internet’s had also started inking advertising deals on its streaming platform, beginning with a deal with Airtel.

Update: A reader points out that Ashish Joshi, previously Head – Digital and Business Development, India and SAARC at Universal Music, joined Dhingana as VP Business Development three months ago.

Disclosure: Dhingana competitor Saavn is an advertiser with MediaNama

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