Indian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries is buying a stake in music streaming service Saavn and will merge it with its JioMusic app to create a new entity it said would be valued at $1 billion.
As part of the deal, Reliance will buy a stake in Saavn from its shareholders for $104 million. It also plans to invest up to $100 million, $20 million of it upfront, to expand the JioMusic-Saavn combine.
Reliance’s Jio telecoms business has been India’s fastest-growing phone carrier since its launch in September 2016. It disrupted the market with discounts and free voice offerings, while expanding its library of Indian films, music and TV shows.
Analysts say Jio is betting on entertainment and sports content to boost users’ spend on data. It has agreed on several partnerships by buying stakes in Indian film studio group Eros International and Bollywood production house Balaji Telefilms.