Saavn, India’s leading music streaming service, today announced the launch of Saavn Original Programming, a new initiative that will expand Saavn’s repertoire of content to include a cutting-edge collection of original, long-form audio programs for its worldwide user base.
The slate of shows, including two original series by renowned journalist and radio icon Neelesh Misra, will debut on Saavn on May 1st. Misra will narrate Qisson Ka Kona, a storytelling program, along with Time Machine (premiering mid-June), a show covering mythology. Saavn has also partnered with new-age digital brand Arré to produce the original true crime series Trial by Error: The Aarushi Files.
For Misra, Saavn Original Programming marks his first foray into digital audio, a landmark moment that will help him reach a truly global audience, far beyond that of terrestrial radio alone.
In addition to these new original shows, Saavn Originals will debut with popular programs from Indus Vox Media. These include Maed in India, featuring interviews and performances by top indie musicians, and Cyrus Says, an irreverent, comedy talk show discussing current events.
The initiative will also introduce Saavn’s Artist-in-Residence program, a creative platform highlighting the best new musicians and bands. The first Artist-in-Residence is Nucleya, the popular and iconic Indian indie electronic artist.
The launch of Saavn Original Programming marks an exciting development for listeners, artists, and advertisers. The new programming slate will provide diverse, cutting-edge content choices for Saavn’s global audience, along with a powerful new platform for upcoming artists and entertainers of all genres.
For advertisers, the initiative provides a novel set of innovative ways to engage with audiences through audio content. With non-music audio programs, brands will gain exclusive, native placement opportunities, as content creators, above and beyond sponsorship.
Following the launch, Saavn will continue to commission and publish new original programming, including new properties produced in partnership with both Indus Vox Media and Arré.
“India is the most exciting entertainment market in the world and mobile streaming is the medium of choice for millions of users in India, and around the globe. Today, we are turning Saavn from a music-only product to an entertainment platform – a platform with the best music experience, groundbreaking original programming, and a true home for artists and creators,” said Saavn Co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra. “We are a company of music and entertainment fanatics and our aim is to be the first stop for entertainment. While music is at the heart of everything we do, we are building off that success to bring our listeners closer to India’s best talent in storytelling, comedy, documentaries, and sports. Mobile is the new cable box and we’re bringing these channels to life; they’re made in India, for the world to hear.”
“Storytelling is very much the people’s medium in India, and the Internet represents the future of that medium,” said Neelesh Misra. “I am ecstatic to partner with Saavn to bring the power of stories to an audience around the world.”
Arré Founder B. Sai Kumar added, “We are incredibly excited to bring our shows to Saavn’s highly engaged audience of millions. Arré, true to its promise of being multi-genre and multi-platform, is very excited about the potential of the audio medium, given the explosion in listening devices, in broadband connections, and in the “head-phone lifestyle” of millennials. Podcasts and spoken-word programs are the future of entertainment, and Arré – Saavn Originals is creating a promising platform for artists & creators to thrive in the future.”
The full slate of Saavn Originals, at launch, includes:
● Qisson Ka Kona with Neelesh Misra – 4 episodes/week
● Trial By Error: The Aarushi Files, hosted by Nishita Jha – 1 episode/week
● Neelesh Misra’s Time Machine –1 episode/week (launching mid-June)
● Maed in India, hosted by Mae Thomas – 1 episode/week
● Cyrus Says, hosted by Cyrus Broacha – 2 episodes/week
● The Paodcast, hosted by Amit Gurbaxani, Purva Mehra, and Pronoti Datta – 1 episode/fortnight
● Geek Fruit, hosted by Tejas Menon and Jishnu Guha – 1 episode/week
● Eat. Sleep. Joke. Repeat., hosted by Karan Agarwal – 1 episode/week
● TFG Sports Podcast, hosted by Vageesh Bhan, Vivek Krishnan, and Chiranjit Ojha – 5 episodes/week
● All Balls with Ayaz Memon – 1 episode/week