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Facebook Signs Licensing Deal With Century-Old Indian Music Label Saregama

A man enters Facebook’s new office in Mumbai, India May 27, 2016.
Credit: Reuters/ Shailesh Andrade

BENGALURU: Facebook has signed a global licensing deal with one of India’s largest music labels, allowing users to choose from a large catalogue of Bollywood music for their Facebook and Instagram posts, the music company said on Wednesday.

Shares of Saregama India shot up 20 per cent on the deal.

The music company, which did not disclose the financial details of the deal, said Facebook and Instagram users can now add music from Saregama’s catalogue of more than 100,000 songs spanning 25 languages to their posts and “stories”.

The Kolkata-based company, which sold vinyls and cassettes under household name HMV for decades, is India’s oldest music label and released the country’s first ever studio-recorded song in 1902.

Its catalogues include popular albums and singles from some of the country’s most successful artists, including Bollywood singing legends Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar.

The deal will “allow people on our platforms, globally, to use their favourite retro Indian music to further enrich their content,” said Facebook India’s director and head of partnerships, Manish Chopra, in a statement.

Saregama’s deal with Facebook follows its licensing deal with Swedish music streaming service Spotify, announced earlier this month.

Shares in Saregama surged to 334.65 rupees in Mumbai before hitting a so-called “upper limit” in morning trading.


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