Dhingana, the Indian music streaming service has gotten itself a 2 year ad deal with Universal Music India. This is its first major ad partnership and it was finalized after a 2 week ad test run which apparently yielded significant results. The news was first reported in Adweek 2 days ago.
Dhingana, which started operations in 2007 has now gone on to amass 15 million monthly users. To put that in perspective, Pandora has 62 million monthly users and Spotify is reported to have more than 25 million monthly users. Dhingana can be called something of a success because of the adoption it has seen in India and abroad even though it primarily streams Indian music. Dhingana has also made the service very accessible with its mobile apps for many platforms in addition to Windows 8 app and its website. Their numbers jumped when they leveraged Facebook’s open graph to make its social listening app.
Dhingana had started its monetization efforts many months ago when it launched its own advertising platform. Now with this 2 year deal from Universal Music India, Dhingana seems to have got the ad support they were looking for. The 2 week test run included ‘roadblock ads’ which makes the user listen to content before listening to a song of their choice and ‘re-skins’ which modifies the look of the music app/page to show promotional material and artists. This effort led to a 6 percent click-through rate, 250,000 song plays and 500,000 ad impressions, which is actually a good performance. The first ads are supposed to be exclusive ones for Colonial Cousins, Sonu Nigam and Avicii.
This partnership is important because the ads and content available thereby are supposed to be exclusive to the platform, which will definitely drive its user base higher. Dhingana recently raised $7 million in a Series B round from Lightspeed Venture Partners along with participation from previous Inventus Capital and Helion Venture Partners, who had already invested an undisclosed amount in the startup in the Series A round.
This is the first time that an Indian music streaming company has shown usage, growth and monetization levels which can be roughly compared to international heavyweights. We are excitedly looking at what new heights Indian companies like Dhingana reach in the future.