Mihir Shah talks about how JioSaavn has been converting more and more consumers into paid subscribers
- With an aim of giving its users a premium, ad-free experience,
JioSaavnlaunched its premium subscription offering JioSaavn Plus.
- Mihir Shah, Vice President of Consumer Revenue at JioSaavn claims that its paid loyalty base continues to grow at a triple digit growth rate year-on-year. He tells us about the factors that have led to this growth.
Launched in 2007, JioSaavn has been witnessing good growth in terms of its subscription base. Over the years, it has tried its hand at various features to improve user experience and build differentiation in the category. Last year, during the lockdown, it launched a live concert IP, JioSaavn Anywhere, to bring artists closer to their fans. In November last year, with its launch of JioSaavn Plus, the platform claims to have catapulted itself into being one of ‘India’s top OTT subscription services’.
In a recent conversation with Shah, we tried to understand how it is wooing more consumers and turning them into paid customers and what platform has to offer for marketers.
Q) It’s been six months since the launch of JioSaavn Plus. How has the reception been so far? What kind of growth have you been witnessing?
JioSaavn Pro is our marquee subscription product which offers the most features compared to any other music subscription service in the market today. JioSaavn Pro offers ad-free listening, downloads, high quality streaming, one-click JioTunes (caller tunes), exclusive rewards on music and lifestyle brands and exclusive content.
We unbundled Pro into feature-based subscription packs under the JioSaavn Plus umbrella and today offer two variants of the pack - a subscription-only pack for ad-free streaming and another one only for unlimited JioTunes. The launch of Plus has catapulted us into one of India’s top OTT subscription services. We’ve seen significant growth in our subscriber base (JioSaavn Pro and JioSaavn Plus). Millions of users are purchasing a subscription and our paid-loyalty base continues to grow at a triple digit growth rate year on year. Over the course of the last year, we have seen tremendous growth in acquiring first-time paying subscribers, a significant spike in subscriber retention rates and healthy upgrade rates from Plus to Pro. Given our subscription plans are long-term duration (monthly, annual) we continue to maintain healthy ARPU rates.
Q) What are the factors that have contributed to consumers subscribing to JioSaavn Plus over a few other subscription-based platforms in the segment?
We’ve had a first-mover advantage in India starting out over a decade ago. JioSaavn has consistently built on our value propositions and customer-experience. We have thrived because we understand what our users want and the nuances of the marketplace. We introduced JioSaavn Plus in November of 2020 understanding the requirement of our paid-consumers and tailor-made the best plans for them. We made a conscious decision of launching feature-based subscriptions rather than duration-based subscriptions catering to the jobs-to-be-done in a customer’s life.
Q) What are a few ways in which you are giving your consumers a differentiated experience?
With JioSaavn Pro we’ve created value. We’ve built-in multi entertainment and lifestyle experiences with something for everyone. Innovation in the audio space has allowed us to stay current and ahead of the most established global and domestic players. Everything from our diverse content catalogue to our consumer-first product offerings has been the differentiator for us. What we’ve built is so much more than a music streaming platform. We’ve curated our experiences to foster and advance culture, creators and artists. With Jio’s extensive reach, a data-driven platform and original regional and language content diversity, we’ve evolved into tastemakers in the Indian audio industry.
Q) Considering subscription would mean the platform is ad-free, how do brands stand to gain from investing on the platform?
Depending on the context in which brands wish to reach out to our users, we offer multiple solutions to make that connection happen. JioSaavn has a well-stacked suite of ad experiences that span across multiple formats such as audio, display, and video. On the content front, we have seen an increasing influx of brands associating with us on playlists and podcasts in the form of curation or custom creation, as the experience enables them to tell a compelling story to our listeners. Apart from in-app media and content integrations, brand partnerships may also extend to off-line channels. For example, Nestle KitKat partnered with us to run a multi-channel activation which also included JioSaavn Pro branding on 25 Million KitKat packs and in-store promotions for a special co-branded offer.
Brands also find value in being associated with our Pro Rewards product to engage with our subscriber audience base. Pro Rewards offers our premium subscribers offers and rewards on brands related to music and lifestyle. Brands like Puma, Flipkart, HealthifyMe, Tinder, Zomato, etc leverage Pro Rewards to reach out to our premium audiences by offering platform exclusives thus creating a win-win situation for both brands and our paid subscribers.
On a product front, we also do strategic API integrations with brands where there are synergies between both products to offer the best experience to our customers. An example is our partnership with Triller. With the Triller integration we have expanded our short video catalogue which is an extension of our popular format - Shorties. The activation of our in-product integration has showcased a rise in Triller videos being consumed in Tier II and III markets across the country.
Q) How are you wooing consumers from smaller cities to come on board as paying consumers?
Given the host of features our subscription offers, we have something for every type of user. Some features may appeal more to a discerning user of music who cares about the best music listening experience while some features may appeal more to a user who is looking for a more tangible/quantifiable experience from their music streaming platform. These users can be in Tier I, II or III towns, it doesn’t matter where they are. What matters is what value they are seeking from our platform.
Q) What are your strategies towards converting people already using your platform to paid users?
We feel confident that we know what the Indian consumer cares about when paying for a subscription and it is this deep-rooted customer knowledge that forms the basis of anything we do to convert our free users into paid users. Based on insights from our users, we recently launched Pro Academy where our Pro subscribers can invest more time in their passion by learning from their favorite celebrities. With Pro Academy, customers can learn from celebrities like Shaan, Neha Kakkar, Ranveer Brar and Dabboo Ratnani, among others.
We will continue to build unique product experiences for our subscribers, focus on penetration of our feature-based subscription packs, invest into our content catalog backed by data and make our communication more intelligent and timely to our highly engaged audiences.
Q) How have you marketed the offering so far? How have you been communicating with your consumers?
On the platform, we leverage our suite of ad products like audio and display to continue to drive awareness of our subscription products. Off platform, we cast a wide net with social media and digital touch points and influencers and partner tie ups.
Q) What was the thought behind shifting from live/ticketing access to consumer offers?
During the pandemic, live concerts and performances came to a halt. But users’ need to connect with artists and feel their music continue on. We saw a need gap and decided to launch Live concerts for Pro subscribers. Since April of 2020, we have hosted multiple Pro only live events with artists like B Praak, Amaal Mallik, Zaeden, Ritwiz, Tienas and Madboy Mink and will continue to invest in this space featuring both mainstream and independent artists. We will focus on both live shows as well as consumer offers relevant to music and lifestyle as that’s a big part of our growth strategy.
Q) What is your target revenue/growth target for this financial year?
We are going to continue our growth trajectory and we see ourselves on path to triple digit growth rates year on year.