In a deal led by RJio director Akash Ambani, Reliance Industries today signed an agreement for combination of digital music service Saavn with JioMusic to create a digital media platform with global reach having total value of over USD 1 billion.
"We are delighted to announce this partnership with Saavn, and believe that their highly experienced management team will be instrumental in expanding Jio-Saavn to an extensive user base, thereby strengthening our leadership position in the Indian streaming market," Reliance Jio (RJio) director Akash Ambani said in a joint statement.
Reliance Industries executed definitive agreements for the combination of Saavn with its digital music service, JioMusic.
"The combined entity is valued at over USD 1 billion, with JioMusic's implied valuation at USD 670 million," the statement said.
Reliance will also invest up to USD 100 million, out of which rupee equivalent of USD 20 million will be invested upfront, for growth and expansion of the platform into one of the largest streaming services in the world.
"The integrated business will be developed into a media platform of the future with global reach, cross-border original content, an independent artist marketplace, consolidated data and one of the largest mobile advertising mediums," the statement said.
As part of the deal, additionally, Reliance will be acquiring a partial stake from the existing shareholders of Saavn for USD 104 million. The shareholder base of Saavn includes Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann among others.
The three co-founders of Saavn, Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat, will continue in their leadership roles and will drive growth of the combined entity.
Nearly 10 years ago, we had a vision to build a connected music platform, dedicated to South Asian culture across the globe. Our alignment with Reliance enables us to create one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most capable media platforms in the world," Saavn co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra said.
With a massive addressable market opportunity of over 1 billion users in India and globally, the combined entity plans to invest aggressively to accelerate growth that would benefit all aspects of the ecosystem, including users, music labels, artists and advertisers, the statement said.
The combined platform will also build on Saavn's Artist Originals (AO) which has delivered some of the top records in India and South Asia including Zack Knight and Jasmin Walia's Bom Diggy.
Disclosure: Firstpost is part of Network18 Media & Investment Limited which is owned by Reliance Industries Limited that also owns Reliance Jio