Renowned author and film critic Anupama Chopra, Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia and acclaimed music artist Raghu Dixit collaborate with Saavn to launch new exclusive programming on Saavn’s streaming platform
MUMBAI, India, August 4th, 2016— Saavn, India’s leading audio entertainment streaming platform, today revealed an entirely new slate of original programming to debut in August and September. The new collection of shows includes Film Companion with Anupama Chopra and #NoFilter Neha hosted by Neha Dhupia. Additionally, Raghu Dixit, internationally acclaimed Indian Indie musician & music director, joins Saavn’s Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program. These exciting announcements follow the launch of Saavn’s Original Programming in April 2016, which marked the evolution of India’s largest music streaming service into a multimedia entertainment streaming platform.
Starting August 11th, Saavn Originals will premiere Film Companion with Anupama Chopra. In addition to movie reviews, Film Companion will feature interviews with A-list film stars, as well an in-depth look at what’s worth watching in India’s ever-growing movie scene. “I’m very excited to be on Saavn,” said Anupama Chopra, “I’ve never done a long form audio show before and this is both an exciting and challenging opportunity. I hope to learn and grow with Saavn.”
In Film Companion’s special premiere episode, Anupama talks to the who’s who of Bollywood music in a power-packed panel including music director duo Vishal-Shekhar, well-known Indian film composer, musician, singer and lyricist Amit Trivedi, and the famous music composer and a guitarist, Ehsaan Noorani, on the changing landscape and future of Bollywood and the music industry. Following this premiere, Film Companion with Anupama Chopra will stream twice weekly every Thursday and Friday on Saavn.
Saavn also adds tongue-in-cheek talk show #NoFilter Neha with Neha Dhupia to the Saavn Originals lineup. Neha, a well-known Indian Bollywood actor and former Femina Miss India Universe 2002, will be in conversation with celebrities from Bollywood, fashion, sports, and music in her notoriously wicked style. “A big inspiration for me are Tina Fey, Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna and other dynamic strong women who are constantly pushing themselves and doing so many things,” said Neha Dupia. “For me having an audio chat show is another exciting challenge which I hope gives me another opportunity to show my quirky side. Saavn to me is a place where the talented meet the cool and vice-versa and I am happy to get on board with them as a content creator.”
#NoFilter promises to shock, awe, and delight Saavn’s 18 million listeners starting mid-September.
“This is a breakthrough moment for us,” said Gaurav Wadhwa, VP of Entertainment and Originals at Saavn. “In addition to widening our fan base, these new shows will help to solidify Saavn’s transition from music streaming to becoming a global entertainment streaming hub. We’re ecstatic to bring these shows to our growing audience and can’t wait to bring them even more fantastic programming.”
Apart from these new shows, Saavn announces internationally renowned artist Raghu Dixit as the next musician to join Saavn’s Artist-in-Residence program, Saavn’s in-house program for independent and breakthrough artists. Building on AiR’s successful launch with popular electronic artist Nucleya, Dixit will create new music, playlists, collaborations and audio shows exclusively for Saavn, expanding Saavn’s already diverse Indie music and Regional music offerings.
“I’m really excited about my partnership with Saavn for the Artist-in-Residence initiative,” said Raghu Dixit, “I love the freedom that Saavn gives the artist and the trust they display in giving artist full control over content being created. I know that with their diverse and highly engaged listeners, this partnership will be a great step forward in taking quality Indian independent music around the world.”
Having previously performed for the Queen of England at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Windsor, as well as the largest festival in Glastonbury, Dixit is no stranger to the world stage. On August 5th, Dixit embarks on the most extensive tour of his career - the “Masterplan for Happiness” tour taking place in the U.S., Canada, Ireland and the U.K. To kick off Dixit’s debut as Saavn’s AiR, Saavn will be backing Dixit’s global tour by promoting the tour through Saavn’s app and social channels.
The full slate of Saavn Originals, debuting this August and September, includes:
1. Passport Approved with Sat Bisla, launching on 2nd August.
2. Film Companion with Anupama Chopra, launching on 11th August.
3. Ek Kahaani Aisi Bhi launching on 19th August.
4. Audioboom syndicated shows launching in the first week of August:
• Like-minded friends
• The Comedy Score
• Hip Hop saved my life with Romesh Ranganathan
• The Cricket Podblast
• Official Leicester City Podcast
• United We Stand
• The Football Forum
• Walsh on Film
• Undisclosed - State vs Adnan Syed
5. #NoFilter Neha by Neha Dhupia launching mid-September
Saavn is India's leading digital music service, transforming how people around the world access and experience music on a daily basis. With a unique combination of Internet radio and on-demand music streaming, as well as proprietary social features like music tagging and music chat, Saavn delivers one of the richest media experiences available on mobile and web today.
The company's award-winning iOS and Android mobile products include phonetic search, dynamic bit-rate streaming, global native ad-serving, and industry-leading design. With Saavn Pro, users can listen to music ad-free and offline. And through partnerships with Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Shazam, Saavn reaches more music fans than any other South Asian music service. In early 2015, Saavn partnered with the global non-profit Akshaya Patra to launch #MusicForMeals, a streaming-powered initiative to provide midday meals for school-going children in India.
In 2016, Saavn expanded its content offering into Saavn Original Programming, a slate of original, non-music audio programs that range from comedy and storytelling to mythology and cricket. Some of the most popular Saavn Originals include Qisson Ka Kona, featuring radio icon Neelesh Misra; Trial by Error: The Aarushi Files, a serialized investigative series centering on India’s most notorious crime; Cyrus Says, an irreverent comedy talk show starring Cyrus Broacha; and Maed in India, featuring interviews and performances by top indie musicians.
This year, featuring popular electronic artist Nucelya in its first installation, Saavn also launched its Artist in Residence program (AiR), an in-house program designed exclusively for handpicked independent, breakthrough artists. This platform encourages select artists to explore their creativity through experimentation, and exclusive collaborations, all while reaching larger and wider audience through Saavn.
Saavn is currently accessed in 196 countries and offers 30 Million tracks in 13 languages: Hindi, English (India only), Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani and Urdu. The company has 900+ label partnerships and growing, including T-Series, Tips, YRF, Saregama, Eros, Universal, Sony, and Warner Music.
Saavn’s investors include Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media, Bertelsmann Investments, Steadview Capital, Ward Ferry Management, Tree Line Investment Management, Quilvest, Mousse Partners, Wellington Capital Management, and a number of strategic individuals have also invested, such as former Vodafone CEO, Arun Sarin, who joined as an investor and advisor in September 2015, Guy Oseary joined as an investor and partner on 15th June, 2016. The Saavn team has previously presented at Strata + Hadoop World in Singapore, and at Cannes Entertainment Lions.
Saavn was founded in 2007, and has offices in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, New York, and California. For more information, visit www.saavn.com or corporate.saavn.com.
Gaurav Wadhwa, Saavn’s Vice President, Entertainment and Original Content, will be spearheading Saavn’s expansion beyond music streaming by building verticals in entertainment, sports and original programming. He is leading the creation of new audio material in indie, sports, comedy, and other alternative genres, working with some of India's most talented content creators and entertainment platforms to create a nextgeneration media-tech brand.
With 12 years’ experience on some of the world's top youth brands across FMCG and Media, Gaurav can be easily defined as “one fuelled by music & content” and as an explorer - of culture, music, technology, brands, and storytelling. He believes that content has the potential to be a universal tonic for most businesses.
In the past, Gaurav has worked with MTV to curate their music & film strategy; with Viacom to build brand solutions & IPs for brands such as Adidas, Microsoft, and 7 Up; with Redbull to launch in India via campaigns around platforms including music, F1, adventure sports, etc; and with PepsiCo India to launch its biggest innovation in recent times - Pepsi Atom - as GM, Marketing - Innovations & Platform, Pepsi. He led PepsiCo’s major initiative to give indie music a home platform by launching Pepsi MTV Indies.
Raghu Dixit has fast become a shining beacon in the burgeoning Indian independent music scene. Raghu’s debut self-titled album went on to become India’s highest selling nonfilm music release. Having toured the U.K. successfully for over 3 years, he has quickly won hearts and minds wherever he has played. Raghu is also India’s first Indie artist who has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Sony ATV.
With a towering voice fronting traditional Indian folk music, which is subtly infused with elements of Western Rock, Arabic, Latino and Reggae textures and rhythms, Raghu’s music transcends national borders and whatever language he sings in he always gets audiences singing and dancing with joy.
Raghu has always said that it is his country, the Indian people, the colours, fragrances, food and languages that have helped to influence and shape his music. This influence can be seen on stage with the band adorning colorful Lungis (sarongs), anklets and beads. With over 600 shows under their belt, the band has become and explosive live act bringing an entirely new genre to the forefront of the Indian music community. He is now taking that music on to the world stage.