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Gaana launches its first original audio series; episodes to be aired fortnightly

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Time Internet owned music streaming service Gaana is launching its first original audio series (more like a podcast), which will be hosted by film actor Ashish Vidyarthi. The audio series titled “Kahanibaaz” will be streamed in 10 episodes with a new episode being launched every 15 days.

“Kahanibaaz” will have stories adopted from authors like Alexei Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, O Henry, which is re-written into the Indian context by writer Saurabh Bhramar. Ashish will narrate these stories in a ‘movie-like’ format wherein each audio story will have around 4 to 5 dialogue sections, with each section ranging from 5-8 minutes. The first season will feature stories in dark horror/tragedy genre; the second season will be a continuation to previous stories.

The new audio series by Gaana is somewhat similar to its competitor Saavn, which had tied up with distribution company FremantleMedia last month to stream its Facebook series “Confessions: It’s Complicated” in audio format. Saavn had also started offering original content through audio show format on its platform in April.

Micromax investment: In October 2015, smartphone maker Micromax invested an undisclosed amount in the music streaming service Gaana. With this investment, the Gaana would be made available on all Micromax smartphones and provide Micromax users free trials of Gaana+ service, which allows unlimited downloads and an ad-free subscription.

Rise of original content

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Music streaming platforms aren’t the only ones betting on original content, platforms in the video streaming space are also looking to monetize more from original series or shows:

-In March YouTube, said it would launch original content along with its content partners Culture Machine, Only Much Louder (OML), Qyuki and The Viral Fever (TVF).

-In the same month, Online video streaming platform Vuclip, had branched into original content with the launch of Viu Originals, starting with a cricket comedy chat series called What the Duck.

– In February, YouTube announced the launch of its first first original content premiere on YouTube Red, a new $10/month service from YouTube where users can watch videos without ads, original content and listen to music in the US.

– In January, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra partnered with subscription-based video streaming service nexGTv to air an original show called “It’s my city.”

– In January, Netflix launched in India. In November 2015, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the company was planning to launch original Bollywood and animation programming aimed at non-US markets.

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– In December, YuppTV has launched YuppTV Bazaar, a new category of curated user generated content.

-In June last year, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s (ZEEL) and its content studio Essel Vision Productions partnered to launch online-only instrumental musical show called Life is Music on ZEEL’s live TV streaming and VoD service Ditto TV.

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