US-based music and media company Create Music Group has acquired Mumbai-based Nirvana Digital, described as one of the largest YouTube Enterprise partners in India.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Create says that this is the first of a planned $50 million investment the company is making in India and the broader region in Asia over the next several years.
Nirvana Digital says that it serves over 20 billion minutes of video each month and has a subscriber base north of 200 million.
Nirvana Digital provides monetization, distribution, rights management services to artists, labels, film and television and other content owners, including one of the largest Spiritual Organizations in the world, The Art of Living, in addition to Rap/Hip Hop superstar Bohemia, and Regional Music companies Vats Records and Team Films.
According to a media statement, the two companies (Create and Nirvana) now exceed 25 billion streams per month, which Create says makes it one of the world’s largest media companies by viewership.
As part of the acquisition, Nirvana Digital co-founders Manu Kaushish and Pinakin Thakkar have been named President, Create Music Group India and Chief Operating Officer, Create Music Group India, respectively.
Manu Kaushish has more than 20 years of experience in entertainment and technology, founding two digital media companies and working on the first Indian music content deals for Real Networks and Apple iTunes, the first monetized Bollywood channel on YouTube and the first Bollywood SVOD Channel on US Cable.
Pinakin Thakkar, who is based in Mumbai, has worked in the advertising and technology space for over 15 years, including at such companies as Percept Holdings and Ogilvy and Mather and has deep connections in the media industry in India.
Create Music Group is a digitally-driven distribution, rights management, and music publishing company founded in 2015.
In 2016, Create Music Group announced the acquisition of distributor Label Engine, which worked with clients such as Insomniac Records and 6ix9ine.
Create also acquired Flighthouse, which remains an influential social media company on platforms such as TikTok.
In September 2018, Create Music Group announced it had launched a music publishing operation, to which it had signed long-term distribution client 6ix9ine.
In January 2019, Create Music Group began providing its rights management and distribution clients with daily estimated royalty data from streaming services such as YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.
“India is without a doubt one of the most exciting growth territories in the global music and media market.”
Jonathan Strauss, Create
Create Founder and CEO, Jonathan Strauss, said: “India is without a doubt one of the most exciting growth territories in the global music and media market.
“We’ve been looking for the right way to build our business in India for some time now, and after being introduced to the Nirvana Digital’s co-founders and seeing the parallels between our two companies, we felt the right move was to acquire them and supercharge our entry into India with one of its most forward-thinking new media companies.”
“Create works with the most recognizable artists and record labels in the world.”
Kaushish, who is based in San Francisco, added: “Create works with the most recognizable artists and record labels in the world.
“Create’s relationships, technology and capital will help us fuel growth for Indian artists and record labels who will gain access to a global distribution and monetization on major platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music as well as Indian platforms like JioSaavn and Gaana.”
“Similarly this deal opens the doors for Create’s US clients to access India’s market of nearly 700 million young people.”
Pinakin Thakkar said: “Similarly this deal opens the doors for Create’s US clients to access India’s market of nearly 700 million young people and bring Create’s globally recognized brands including Flighthouse, which is the most followed creator channel on TikTok, to India.”Music Business Worldwide