Music streaming service Rdio is acquiring India’s Dhingana, it announced today, and will launch Rdio India later this year. This comes exactly one month after we reported that Dhingana had quietly closed the shutters on its service without any explanation — and now things are finally out in the open.
The acquisition makes a lot of sense. Rdio is already present in 51 countries and its CEO Anthony Bay has spoken at length about going global. “We are one of (the) very few global companies that can provide a great music experience to an expanding international audience, and it is our objective to bring that experience to India and to non-resident Indians and fans around the world,” Bay says.
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With its large population and, in turn, a big market of potential music-listeners, India is a valuable addition to Rdio’s business. Taking over Dhingana’s more than 1 million songs in 42 languages and Indian genres will no doubt help it scale faster in the country rather than starting from scratch.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Dhingana has had its fair share of troubles, and being folded into an international company is probably the most graceful exit it could take.
Despite raising significant venture funding — its most recent $7 million round closed in 2012 — and hiring its first external CEO less than one year ago, Dhingana came unstuck after its biggest music label partner — T-Series — declined to renew its licensing agreement in December last year. This illustrated the difficulties of running a legitimate streaming service in a country with all-powerful labels.
Rdio India will be joining competitors including Saavn and Times India’s Gaana.com. It remains to be seen how successful Rdio will be in India, given the many bumps that other firms have experienced in dealing with the music download industry — Indian e-commerce service Flipkart shuttered its digital music store in May last year, while Nokia followed soon after by shutting down its online music store in India in September.