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Indian music streaming services JioMusic and Saavn will merge

Merged company to be valued at $1 billion

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Reliance Industries (RIL) has inked a deal to combine over-the-top (OTT) music platform Saavn with its own digital music service JioMusic in a transaction worth over US$ 1 billion, the oil-to-telecom behemoth said in a statement on Friday.

The combined entity is valued at over US$ 1 billion, with JioMusic’s implied valuation of US$ 670 million, the statement added. RIL said that it will also invest up to US$ 100 million, out of which US$ 20 million will be invested upfront for growth and expansion of the platform into one of the largest streaming services in the world.

JioMusic will also acquire a partial stake from existing shareholders of Saavn for US$ 104 million. Shareholders of Saavn include Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media, and Bertelsmann, among others.

The three co-founders of Saavn — Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat — will continue in their leadership roles and will drive the growth of the combined entity.

“The integrated business will be developed into a media platform of the future with global reach, cross-border original content, independent artist marketplace, consolidated data, and one of the largest mobile advertising media,” Reliance said.

JioMusic currently has over 16 million HD songs in 20 languages. Saavn, on the other hand, has been around much longer than JioMusic and features 36 million tracks across 15 languages, with over 900 existing music label partnerships.

The deal comes at a time when music listeners in India are warming up to a palette of streaming services available in the country, including Gaana, Wynk, Saavn, Apple Music, Google Play, and now Amazon Prime Music. The number of music streaming users in India has more than tripled since 2015 to 87.6 million, according to an EY India report. The Jio-Saavn deal comes weeks after rival Gaana announced a US$ 115 million investment in a funding round led by China’s Tencent Holdings.

RIL launched its LTE mobile network operations under Jio in 2016. By November 2017, it accounted for a 14.5 percent share of India’s wireless telecom market for the second quarter of the year.

Apps

Google is under investigation for abusing Android

Dominating the market comes with a price

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Google has often been accused of monopolizing the smartphone market with the use of Android. While Android as an operating system is open source and anyone is free to make or use the system however they wish, Google’s push of its apps is a bigger problem.

Android is maintained by the search engine giant and the code is available for everyone’s use. But, Google pushes its range of apps in stock Android like Gmail, Maps, Play Music, YouTube, and more. Many accuse the company of forcing itself upon users and blocking the competition from a fair chance.

India’s Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been reviewing Google’s case for the last six months. The enforcement agency is currently at a preliminary stage and no official release has been made. Google, as well as CCI, have declined to comment.

The European Commission found Google guilty of dominating the market since 2011 and it’s abusing its standard practice of installing Google apps. The investigation led to a US$ 5 billion fine from the antitrust agency.

Google and CCI have met in recent months and the complaint was filled by a “group of individuals.” The agency has a track record of taking years to finish or conclude a case and we never know when a verdict might actually come.

Although, the CCI did impose a US$ 19 million fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position.

Android has a massive 85 percent market share and almost every Android phone ships with Google’s suite of apps. These apps, in return, help the search engine push ads to the user and generate revenue for the company.

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EA is looking into making a mobile version of Apex Legends

To battle with Fortnite

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Image credit: EA

EA‘s battle royale game is a certified hit. Apex Legends, which was developed by Titanfall makers Respawn, has no fewer than 25 million registered players in just one week. The game is playable for free on multiple platforms (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), but why not make it available on mobile as well?

Early reports don’t indicate mobile plans for the game, although during the Electronic Arts Q3 2019 earnings call, EA Games CEO said that they are looking into bringing Apex Legends to mobile devices.

Fortnite‘s userbase ballooned when it became available on Android and iOS, so it’s a no brainer than EA also wants mobile gamers to join the fun.

“We are looking at how to take the game to mobile and cross-play over time, and I also expect that this game will have tremendous value in Asia, and we’re in conversations about that,” EA Games CEO Andrew Wilson said during the conference call.

There’s no definite timeline for the release of Apex Legends on mobile, but it’s certainly on the drawing board. For now, EA plans to introduce direct purchase options for players to buy items and new legends or heroes. They will also offer the so-called Apex Packs or simply loot boxes for more random items.

Apex Legends is not a pay-to-win game, so these items are purely cosmetic and can be used to customize your hero’s looks in the game.

SEE ALSO: Apex Legends hits 25 million players after one week

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Introducing Bumble’s Spotlight: Pay to get to the top of the page

For just two Bumble coins!

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You can’t buy your way to true love but you can now buy a top spot on Bumble’s swipe page.

You heard that right. Bumble just announced their new feature and they’re calling it Spotlight. For two Bumble coins, which is around US$ 2, you can get your own profile to the top of the swipe page — the most conducive spot for swiping. Your profile stays there for 30 minutes and people won’t even know you paid for the extra airtime.

Similar to Tinder Boost, this new feature allows for a bigger shot at better swiping results. It basically bumps you up in the queue. Remember, though, that you can only pay for being more visible on the app, but the swiping is still left to the other party.

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