Quick Hits: Updates at Saavn; Internet echo chamber; all about Russia

Brief news items and worthy reads from around the web:

Saavn adds new investor: Saavn, an India-based streaming service, has brought former Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin on as an investor and strategic advisor. “Music streaming is a core app on today’s smartphones, and Saavn is superbly positioned to grow rapidly in the fast expanding smartphone market in India,” Sarun said in a statement. Saavn has also reportedly reached an audience of 18 million monthly active users.

The Internet as popularity echo chamber: Variety’s Bob Lefsetz examined how the web has impacted musician popularity among listeners. He noted that despite the vision of the Internet as a great equalizer, it has actually proven to be more of an echo chamber. It helps a select few rise to greater heights, but is still a challenging mountain to climb for small acts.

Profile of the Russian music biz: Billboard is known for its excellent dives into the music industry, and this time it has taken an international bent. This article profiles the changes underway in Russia, including a look at the role digital platforms now play in the country. Worth a look for anyone wanting to keep tabs on the international field.

Anna Washenko