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Music streaming service Dhingana launches ad platform

With the development, Dhingana plans to reach out to major brands to which Bollywood music is relevant; it has also roped in Facebook's Gokul Rajaram to be on its advisory board.

Music streaming portal Dhingana is now branching out to launch its advertising platform. Targeting brands that are Bollywood-relevant, the development aims to monetise Dhingana's offering and enable advertisers to reach out to the portal's 11 million subscribers across the world.

Started in February, 2007 and headquartered in California, Dhingana.com allows users to listen to Bollywood and Indian music on their mobile devices and computers. Accessed by users across the world, the company has a collection of more than 4,00,000 songs across genres that are available, legally and free.

Earlier, Dhingana offered only banner ads while now, various formats will be offered to advertisers including full screen advertising on mobile screens, homepage takeover and branded playlists, among others.

Snehal Shinde and Swapnil Shinde

On the rationale behind the development, Snehal Shinde, chief executive officer, Dhingana, says, "Globally, more than 11 million Indian music fans listen to their favourite music on Dhingana. We believe that this is a great motivation for brands looking at innovative avenues to reach out to them. This led us to develop a highly intuitive advertising platform."

As part of the advertising platform launch, Dhingana has also roped in Gokul Rajaram to serve as an advisor to the company. Rajaram, product director of advertising, Facebook is also credited as the creator of Google AdSense.

On Rajaram's appointment, Swapnil Shinde, chief operating officer, Dhingana, says, "Gokul (Rajaram) has extensive experience in creating user-friendly and highly profitable experiences for social and mobile platforms. And hence, his experience will be invaluable as we expand the service to reach more users."

Gokul Rajaram

Before joining Facebook, Rajaram spent five years as product management director of Google's AdSense. Chai Labs, a start up to launch customised and search-friendly websites that he ran, was later bought out by Facebook.

"The streaming market in India is growing at an unprecedented rate, offering myriad opportunities to consumers and brands. With more than seven million active users on iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Nokia devices, Dhingana has been quick to tap the huge impact that mobile is making in India," says Rajaram.

Dhingana is looking at advertisers such as movie production studios, music labels, independent musicians, mobile carriers and other brands that reach the young audience globally. The offered ad formats will help target ads based on factors like music genre, platform, geo-location and audience demographics.

In the beta testing phase of the platform, Dhingana ran a campaign for the recently released Hindi film, Cocktail, which it claims drove 1,00,000 audio streams of the ad in the first 18 hours and more than a million streams in the first five days. The company also has had multinational brands such as Pepsi, Emirates, Samsung and leading production houses on board.

Talking to afaqs!, Shinde says that he is particularly excited about the premium brand opportunities that will be available on mobile platforms, especially full-screen advertising on mobile, with India being a very mobile-driven country.

He insists that the user experience will not be disrupted but only enhanced with the strategic formats of advertising on the portal.

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