India-focused streaming service Saavn is projecting that it could turn a profit by the end of 2018. Co-founder and CEO Rishi Malhotra said that the company is slated to reach revenue between $18 million and $20 million this year. With just 22 million monthly active users, the platform has pursued a combination of niche content and geographic tiers that appears to be delivering success.
Saavn offers music catering to Indian listeners, including soundtracks from the popular Bollywood film genre as well as some western music. In southeast Asian markets, Saavn offers an ad-supported free platform with unlimited access to its library of 30 million songs. Those listeners have the option to remove ads for 99 rupees (about $2) a month. Outside that region, however, Saavn is only available by a $5-a-month subscription and offers 11 million songs to listeners.
If the New York-based company does achieve profitability, it would be one of the first streaming services to hit the milestone. The large amounts paid out in licensing and royalty fees have posed a challenge to music companies’ balance sheets. The latest quarterly reports from major players such as Spotify and Pandora have shown growth in both revenue and losses. (Apple does not break out specific financials for its Apple Music platform.)