Rdio is acquiring shuttered Indian streaming service, Dhingana, for an undisclosed amount.
In a statement on Dhingana.com, Rdio announced it will re-launch the music service in India later this year. Dhingana shut down in February shortly after it's largest partner, Indian music label T-Series, did not renew its licensing agreement with the service.
The acquisition of Dhingana will allow Rdio to enter the Indian streaming market with an existing catalog of over one million songs in 47 languages. In 2012, Dhingana received $7 million in series B funding. In October of last year, Dhingana stated it had 9 million monthly active users globally and over 75% of users accessed Dhingana's from their mobiles devices. “Over the past seven years, Dhingana has worked hard to build a music platform that allows millions of users around the world to enjoy the diverse music of India, including a massive Bollywood catalog," said founder Snehal Shinde in the statement. He and co-founder and Swapnil Shinde will join the executive team at Rdio.
Rdio, launched in San Francisco by a co-founder of Skype in 2010, is currently available in 51 countries and has previously stated that 57% of its monthly active users now come from outside of the U.S. Competing streaming services in India include Gaana, with a reported 7.5 million monthly active users, and Saavn with 11 million.
"India is a tremendously vibrant market for music and culture and one of the largest and most important in the world," said Anthony Bay, Rdio’s chief executive officer, in the same statement. "We are one of very few global companies that can provide a great music experience to an expanding international audience."
In an op-ed for Billboard last year, Vinodh Bhat, co-founder and CEO of competing service Saavn, wrote, "It’s a fair assumption that the Indian music market will surpass the West in the near future in terms of consumer numbers. The 1.2 billion people in India and tens of millions in the Indian diaspora comprise the world’s largest music-listening population." Although the market is large, music streaming services in India face several challenges, including, as Bhat writes, widespread piracy.
The Guardian recently projected that India will surpass the United States this year to become the second-largest country for smartphone use in the world, adding 400 million new users.