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Indian streaming service Dhingana lands Universal ad deal with 15 million monthly users

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Dhingana Screenshot
Dhingana Screenshot

While music streaming service Dhingana hasn't made much of an impact outside its native India, it has been steadily racking up venture capital and users since its launch in 2007 — according to a report from Adweek, the company now counts a total of 15 million monthly users across free apps for Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Symbian, as well as its website. These numbers, roughly comparable to Spotify's performance in July of last year, have helped Dhingana land its first major label advertising deal with Universal Music India (UMI), slated to begin later this quarter.

The partnership, which follows a two-week test run, will last for at least two years, and will allow Universal to display two types of ads: so-called "roadblocks," where users are forced to consume content before reaching their destinations, and "reskins," where the visual feel of the app is modified. Ads will initially be shown for pop duo Colonial Cousins and singer Sonu Nigam, as well as the Swedish DJ Avicii.

According to Devraj Sanjal, UMI managing director, the recent test run generated results that were "much better than expected," including a 6 percent click-through rate. In total, the two-week program stimulated 250,000 song plays and 500,000 ad impressions for Universal, with Dhingana's Hindi and Bollywood focus allowing it to target an audience that is both large and clearly defined.