Satrajit Sen

Saavn celebrates the magic of music

Saavn's first Indian ad campaign aims to celebrate how music touches and enriches our daily lives.

Music touches and enriches our daily lives and to celebrate the magic of music, Saavn, the digital distributor of Bollywood and Tamil Cinema music, has launched a digital video campaign featuring actor Ranbir Kapoor. The video aims to celebrate the sounds that touch all our lives, from the smallest baby to the world's biggest movie star.

Saavn celebrates the magic of music
Saavn celebrates the magic of music
Titled 'Here's to the Music', the campaign aims to make an impression as the brand's first Indian ad campaign, and celebrate how music touches and enriches our daily lives. "We're not just here to build a business - we're here to bring music to everyone, regardless of age, income or language. The campaign has been the most challenging (and exciting) creative project we have undertaken. We scripted over 30 different scenes, filmed for 12 days, and recorded five hours of footage to build 90 seconds that truly capture the essence of love, life and music," informs Teddy Stern, director of advertising, Saavn.

The spot has been created in-house from scratch. From the initial concept and script to the pre-production and post-production phases, the ad was executed entirely by Saavn team members. For the production phase, Saavn partnered with Golden Gaddi, a division of Sikhya Entertainment (founded by Anurag Kashyap and Guneet Monga).

On using a digital video as its first ad in the country, Stem reveals that the outreach follows a careful strategy. "We've observed that more than anywhere else, our listeners and potential listeners consume music on digital platforms, such as YouTube. Thus we decided to focus only on digital media, making the primary channel," he adds.

Saavn intends to celebrate the essence of music with its existing user base and also reach out to new ones through the digital medium. The target audience includes anyone on YouTube, WhatsApp, or Facebook.

The video being promoted through six days of YouTube media buys including home screen placement, where visitors will see the spot upon first loading the site, for the entire month. Besides, Facebook activation has also been done targeting the brand's 1.6 million-strong fan base. A Twitter hashtag #OurSoundtrack has also been placed at the open and close of the spot, and appended on all Twitter shares from the Saavn Apps. The video, uploaded on February 10, has so far received close to 5 lakh views on YouTube.

Saavn currently has over 10 million monthly unique users, who spend over six hours of listening time on it, on average, each month. "With this spot, we intended to position ourselves as a human company, not just a technology company - we're reaching out to millions and touching their lives with music. We hope that after seeing these 90 seconds, music fans will trust us to bring them the best listening experience possible," states Stem.

Steady Streaming?

Many Indian services have come up trying to replicate the success of Spotify in India, especially Dhingana and Gaana. Saavn and Dhingana started in early 2007, and went through their rounds of iterations and funding, to become premier music services for Indian content. Gaana is backed by Times Internet. It started off as a web music streaming site in 2011, and launched on most mobile platforms by the end of 2012.

While Saavn and Gaana continue to survive, Dhingana has already shut shop, owing to industry challenges like piracy and after its biggest partner, T-Series refused to renew the agreement. Dhingana had been among the top-funded music start ups in India and raised 7 million dollars in Series B funding in October last year.

Saavn celebrates the magic of music
So how does Saavn keep itself afloat in these tough market conditions? As per Sneha Mehta, editor-in-chief at Saavn, the application market, overall, is crowded but Saavn is fundamentally different.

"The combination of user experience, interactive design, and strong technology at Saavn cannot be replicated. Ultimately, we pride ourselves on doing a simple thing, extraordinarily well. We listen to our users at every step to make sure they have the highest level of consumer satisfaction, and that we are developing products and features to meet their evolving needs. Moreover, partnerships have also been one of our key focus areas; recently we have partnered with Firefox to introduce the Saavn Music Feed for Firefox users. We have also extended our partnership with Shazam to bring its music tagging service to the masses in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan," Mehta adds.

The digital music industry is constantly evolving in India and adapting to changing consumer needs. As per Mehta, over the last seven years, the digital music industry has evolved from rudimentary handset personalisation features such as ringtones and ring back tones to a truly immersive on-demand and curated experience for any gender, age or geography.

India is one of the fastest growing markets for digital music. According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) digital music report, the Indian recorded music market grew for the third consecutive year in 2012, with digital sales overtaking physical sales. As a result of products like Saavn, digital music has evolved to being mainstream - more and more people prefer the simple, straightforward experience.

On their plans for 2014, Mehta states that what is seen now is probably 10 per cent of what Saavn has planned for 2014. "There is a lot to be done in this space, in terms of people consuming music and ways to engage with them. We'll be continuing with our focus on partnerships, which includes integrating with more telecom operators," she states.