Indian streaming service Saavn hits 11m active users, hires Google vet

Saavn, India’s music streaming service, has announced that it’s hit 11m monthly active users as it hires former Google India exec Mahesh Narayanan.

Narayanan (pictured) brings experience from companies including Google, AdMob (acquired by Google) and Sociomantic Labs (acquired by Dunnhumby) to Saavn – which says that it attracted more than 30 million unique users in 2014 alone.

Saavn claims it is now the most downloaded music service worldwide for Indian music, with the Google Play Store showing its Android app has been downloaded somewhere between 10 and 50 million times.

Without giving away exact figures, the company reports that it saw a 6X increase in subscribers to its premium service, Saavn Pro, since Q1 2014.

In the same period, its streaming volume has multiplied by three, up to 200 million streams per month. 90% of its users are on mobile.

Narayanan most recently led the India operations for German display advertising company, Sociomantic, which was acquired by Dunnhumby in April 2014, less than a year after he helped launch its Mumbai-based operations.

Prior to Sociomantic, Narayanan played a major role helping get Google India off the ground. He was the founding member of Google’s Direct Sales Operations in 2005, before joining the leadership team of mobile advertising network, AdMob.

Following Google’s acquisition of AdMob in 2010, Narayanan returned to Google as Mobile Head for India.

“Mahesh is an elite executive who is recognized as one of the top digital leaders in the world and brings a bright, uniquely experienced perspective to Saavn. He’ll be involved in 360 degrees of the company to help make everyone better and bring us into the next chapter of growth and revenue. We’re honored to have Mahesh on board, and he has already made a tremendous impact on the organization in his first few weeks with us. Businesses are built off great people. Mahesh is one of the best,” Rishi Malhotra, Co-Founder and CEO of Saavn, said.

“I am most passionate about digital technology and music. Saavn represents my vision of the ideal blend of both passions most aptly. I’ve had the opportunity to help many leading global technology media companies achieve success, and I genuinely believe that Saavn is primed for the same caliber of success. I am really excited about partnering with Rishi and the leadership team to take Saavn to a whole new league,” Narayanan said.

Saavn closed 2014 with partnerships with companies like Twitter, T-Mobile and Snapdeal and a content initiative with Sony Music.Music Business Worldwide

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