Recently, there’s been much debate, confusion, and commentary around net neutrality in India. #SaveTheInternet has become a defining digital movement, driven by millions of users who are very vocal that user choice of great products and services should drive selection – not the ability to tune access based on collecting fees from Internet companies.
India is on path to become a true Internet superpower. This can only happen in a net neutral environment where great companies (big and small) enjoy universal access to all consumers. The users will choose the winners. This benefits everybody and enables India to remain at the forefront of building world-class companies. It also keeps start-up jobs in India, which enables innovation and skills to compound rather than letting only the large companies thrive based on sheer capitalization.
Since Saavn was started in 2007, we have been in the business of innovating. It’s at the core of everything we do. We innovated to deliver the first music streaming platform dedicated to India in 2009. We launched the first Android app for Indian music in 2011, and the first iOS app in 2012. In 2013, we launched the first mobile subscription product, Saavn Pro, so we could enjoy our music while flying at 30,000 feet, reduce data streaming charges while commuting, and deliver the highest-fidelity audio available to users. In 2014, we pioneered a new approach to consumer marketing campaigns. In 2015, we launched the first social music experience to enable users to tag, follow, and chat with friends about the music that connects all of us. While our products have many features, innovation is perhaps the best one.
Saavn FreeStream is another example of innovation. It’s real R&D and being tested LIVE in the world right now. The concept is simple: the largest point of friction for many users is the cost of data and not knowing just how much data is being used until, well, it’s already used. Saavn FreeStream is a cross-carrier test to re-credit users’ data. Our test enables users to access any publisher on the web; it’s not restricted to Saavn, nor do we prioritize our data over others. Just as the concept is simple, so is the goal: let users focus on accessing the Internet via mobile, not on what’s left on their data plan after each session. As devoted proponents of net neutrality, we proactively move to drive Internet access for everybody. The Saavn FreeStream test is an effort to provide uninhibited access to the net and better understand data cost barriers. Above all else, users choose what they access with their data and everybody benefits from bringing a thriving country like India online.
Most importantly, Saavn is a pure play company and agnostic by design. We are not paired with just one carrier or a single media outlet. We are simply in the business of putting the best music experience into the hands of users around the globe. Users choose the products and services that make their lives better and we’re honored to be lucky enough to be in that category.
Our approach as a company is always user first. Currently, there are 116 entrepreneurs at Saavn. As entrepreneurs, it is our responsibility to innovate, test limits, and author change. We get many things right and some things wrong, but we won’t stop innovating any time soon. It’s the ethos of the company. This is not about making 100 rupees from users. This is about creating an Internet economy that drives the next 100 years in India. To achieve and maintain a leading digital economy requires an open and competitive Internet driven by consumer choice. We are core supporters and evangelists for net neutrality and always will be. It’s that simple.
As one of the companies that’s leading the Internet economy in India, we’re most proud of building a quality company that’s changing the way millions of people experience music together. On behalf of our entire team, we thank you and the over 13 million people who stream Saavn monthly around the globe.
Stream on and much love.