Merlin and JioSaavn finalize “enhanced” license agreement

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Independent music mainstay Merlin has officially “extended and improved its existing music licensing partnership with JioSaavn”, one of the most popular music streaming platforms in India.

Nine-year-old Merlin and 14-year-old JioSaavn recently unveiled their extended license agreement. The recently finalized pact “marks the first renewal between the two parties since the regional music streaming service Saavn merged with the Indian JioMusic” in 2018, when the subsidiary Jio Platforms adopted its current name.

“The expanded partnership will allow Merlin members to increase their presence in South Asia and expand JioSaavn’s catalog offering to its global audience,” the companies’ concise statement continued, before reiterating that member labels and holders Merlin rights account for “over 15% of the global digital music market.

In a statement, JioSaavn vice president of content partnerships Keshav Bhola said his company – which offers access to the north of 60 million tracks – will coordinate with Merlin on “impactful initiatives” going forward. , although the press release does not disclose exactly what these initiatives will be. to imply.

“We look forward to working with Merlin on high impact initiatives. This is a strategic step to work towards the long-term growth of partners, artists and the music industry, ”said Bhola, who joined JioSaavn’s roster in March 2013.

“This effort will further build on our commitment to positively impact the music streaming ecosystem. Our audience will now have access to a high experience with regards to global music, while artists and musicians around the world will have a borderless platform for their work, ”concluded the former Hungama superior.

The renewed and extended Merlin-JioSaavn license agreement comes as a number of companies and professionals seek to enter the growing music space in India.

In April 2020, Facebook spent nearly $ 6 billion (43,574 crore) for a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, the technology company owned by Reliance Industries behind JioSaavn, JioChat and other consumer services in India. . Then, in May 2020, California-based tech investment firm Silver Lake along with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) gave up substantial sums to secure their own interests in Jio Platforms.

More recently, in terms of notable investments in Indian music streaming and entertainment spheres, Chinese conglomerate Tencent injected $ 40 million in late June 2021 into Gaana, another major streaming service in the 1.4 billion country. of residents. Gaana reportedly boasted a post-investment valuation of $ 570 million.

Earlier this year, the music discovery and streaming platform Audiomack brought in former Spotify boss Himanshu “Heems” Suri to lead its expansion in Southeast Asia, while Merlin, after finalizing a deal. license agreement with Tencent Music in the fourth quarter of 2020, signed a separate licensing agreement with another Tencent-owned streaming service, Joox, in April 2021.

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