Live at Saavn

Music streaming service Saavn has launched a new series of live acoustic shows and interviews with popular international and Indian artists dubbed Live@Saavn. The artists will be hosted at Saavn’s Mumbai headquarters and the company plans to produce videos of the live sets that will be made available on YouTube. The first set in the series features the Los Angeles-based indie-rock band Young the Giant.

Currently, live acoustic performances of three Young the Giant tracks, namely ‘Mind Over Matter’, ‘Cough Syrup’ and ‘Firelight’, plus an interview with the band is available on Saavn’s YouTube channel. The company has said that names of other artists who’ll be a part of the Live@Saavn series will be announced over the next few weeks.

This is an interesting move by Saavn: in essence Live@Saavn is similar to a MTV Unplugged. Unplugged sessions with your favorite artists is the next best thing after live concerts. This will also allow Saavn, in a way, to create new content for their listeners. The music streaming segment may still be at a relatively nascent stage in India, but given the number of players jostling for the consumers’ attention, providing unique content can be a deal clincher.

It’ll also be interesting to see if Saavn also starts offering live streaming of concerts in the future. We’re not aware of any such service in India, except Tamil news portal Dinamalar’s music website called Isai Live that live streams Indian classical concerts. There’s YouTube Live as well, which also allows users to stream live concerts, but has very little India-specific content.

Social push: Saavn, which had raised an undisclosed amount in funding from Hong-Kong based hedge fund Steadview Capital in August last year, has added several new social features to its service, in recent times. This includes Saavn Social, a set of in-app social features like tag, follow, chat and share playlists, profiles, celebrities and listening activities with other users on Saavn for users on Android, iOS and web. The other social media-focused feature was the tweet-based radio station Saavn had launched in December last year. Users can tweet a song request to Saavn radio’s twitter handle @SaavnRadio. The lineup of the songs will be curated via interactions with Saavn’s users on Twitter and will be refreshed every few minutes.

In January this year, the company had claimed that it has over 11 million monthly active users and that it received more than 30 million unique users in 2014. Saavn had also claimed that the service witnesses close to 200 million streams per month and that 90% of its users are on mobile.

Last year, Saavn had signed licensing agreements with music recording the publishing giants EMI and Warner Music to add 8 lakh songs of popular international artists to its catalogue. At the time, it had claimed to have close to 20 lakh songs on offer.