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Saavn launches programmatic audio ads for mobile devices in India

SaavnUS-based Indian music streaming firm Saavn (South Asian Audio Video Network) has announced the launch of programmatic audio advertising for mobile devices in India, in partnership with San Mateo-based ad solutions tech provider AdsWizz and Omnicom Media Group.

The move will enable brands to automate real-time buying, targeting, optimisation and reporting of audio ad inventory, Saavn said in a statement, adding its existing 250 advertisers will be able to use data to access and communicate with the service's 20 million listeners.

"We had over 1.8 billion real ad impressions in Q4...Our programmatic solution can simplify planning, executing and reporting dynamic digital audio campaign on mobile devices," said Gaurav Kaushik, VP, advertising platform, Saavn.

Founded in 2007, Saavn has offices in Mumbai, Gurgaon, Bangalore, New York, and California. The company, which has users in 196 countries and offers around 30 million tracks in 13 languages, has joined hands with over 900 labels, including T-Series, Tips, YRF, Saregama, Eros, Universal, Sony and Warner Music.

Amit Singla, head of digital marketing, HP India, said a reduction in time to set up campaigns and get real-time reports is an added benefit, especially in an increasingly media fragmented world. HP was the first brand advertiser in India to run digital audio buys programmatically on Saavn, according to the statement.

Anil Pandit, associate VP, Omnicom Media Group said that while digital audio advertising is a compelling way to change consumer mindset, its delivery in a closed system also eliminates nagging issues like fraud, viewability and ad blocking.

In 2016, Saavn expanded its content offering to Saavn Original Programming, a slate of non-music audio programmes spanning comedy, storytelling, mythology and cricket.

The company had secured an undisclosed amount of strategic investment from Guy Oseary, CEO of talent management agency Maverick Records, in June last year. Following the investment, Oseary had become a partner in Saavn.

Saavn counts Liberty Media, Bertelsmann, Steadview Capital, Ward Ferry Management and Tree Line Investment Management as its investors, among others.

In July 2015, the firm had raised $100 million in Series C funding from existing investor Tiger Global, besides others. It had earlier secured $6 million in its Series A round in 2009, and $4 million in its Series B funding round.

Saavn competes with Times Internet's Gaana, Airtel's Wynk, Apple Music, Guvera, Rdio and Hungama.

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