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India’s Jio to Absorb Music Streamer Saavn

Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries has integrated global music OTT platform Saavn with its own digital music service JioMusic. The combined entity is valued at some $1 billion.

Reliance is acquiring a partial stake from the existing shareholders of Saavn, including Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann, for $104 million. In addition, Reliance will invest $100 million in Saavn’s expansion.

Saavn co-founders Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat will continue to lead the company.

“The investment and combination of our music assets with Saavn underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide unlimited digital entertainment services to consumers over a strong uninterrupted network,” said Akash Ambani, director, Reliance Jio.

The deal marks Reliance Industries’ inexorable expansion in the Indian entertainment space. It owns a controlling stake in broadcaster and studio Viacom 18, a 5% stake in Bollywood studio Eros International and 25% of content creator Balaji Telefilms. The company’s Jio mobile telephony service has 168 million subscribers with access to low cost Internet, a market base for Reliance’s upcoming content bouquet.

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