Move Dramatically Expands Create’s Global Footprint in One of the Fastest Growing Media Markets in the World.
(LOS ANGELES & MUMBAI November 2, 2021) Create Music Group, the fastest growing privately held music and media company in the U.S., announced today that they will dramatically expand their global footprint with the acquisition of Nirvana Digital, a Mumbai-based company that is one of the largest YouTube Enterprise partners in India. Nirvana Digital serves over 20 billion minutes of video each month and has a subscriber base north of 200 million – it provides monetization, distribution, rights management services to artists, labels, film and television and other content owners, including one of the largest Spiritual Organizations in the world – The Art of Living, Rap/Hip Hop superstar – Bohemia and Regional Music Powerhouses – Vats Records and Team Films.
Together the two companies now exceed 25 billion streams per month, making Create one of the world’s largest media companies by viewership.
While terms of the deal were not disclosed, this is the first of a planned $50 million investment Create is making in India and the broader region in Asia over the next several years. The market potential for online music and media in India is staggering – more than 50% of India’s 1.3 billion population is under the age of 25 and more than 94% of online consumers in India listen to music. As wireless coverage and data consumption becomes more prevalent, those metrics are set to grow even more.
“India is without a doubt one of the most exciting growth territories in the global music and media market,” said Create Founder and CEO, Jonathan Strauss. “We’ve been looking for the right way to build our business in India for some time now, and after being introduced to the Nirvana Digital’s co-founders and seeing the parallels between our two companies, we felt the right move was to acquire them and supercharge our entry into India with one of its most forward-thinking new media companies.”
Established in 2015, Create Music Group is a data-driven media and technology company focused on empowering artists and creators. Their technology is the backbone of many of the world’s most successful independent labels and artists and handles everything from distribution, marketing, to programmatic advertising. Additionally, the company has made substantial investments in content properties on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, where they own the largest non-influencer brand, Flighthouse which has more than 28 million followers.
As part of the acquisition, Nirvana Digital co-founders Manu Kaushish and Pinakin Thakkar have been named President, Create Music Group India and Chief Operating Officer, Create Music Group India, respectively.
“Create works with the most recognizable artists and record labels in the world,” said Kaushish, who is based in San Francisco. “Create’s relationships, technology and capital will help us fuel growth for Indian artists and record labels who will gain access to a global distribution and monetization on major platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music as well as Indian platforms like JioSaavn and Gaana.”
Pinakin Thakkar commented: “Similarly this deal opens the doors for Create’s U.S. clients to access India’s market of nearly 700 million young people and bring Create’s globally recognized brands including Flighthouse, which is the most followed creator channel on TikTok, to India.”
Manu Kaushish has more than 20 years of experience in entertainment and technology, founding two digital media companies and working on the first Indian music content deals for Real Networks and Apple iTunes, the first monetized Bollywood channel on YouTube and the first Bollywood SVOD Channel on U.S Cable. Pinakin Thakkar, who is based in Mumbai, has worked in the advertising and technology space for over 15 years, including at such companies as Percept Holdings and Ogilvy and Mather and has deep connections in the media industry in India.
About Create Music Group
Established in 2015, Create Music Group is a data-driven media and technology company focused on empowering artists and creators. Named #2 on the Inc 5000 Fastest Growth Companies in America in 2020, its industry-leading platforms enable rights holders, distributors, artists and brands to identify and secure monetization opportunities and build new audiences. The company works with superstar artists, major and independent record labels, and global media brands including Jennifer Lopez, Marshmello, and PepsiCo. It operates a number of media networks including Label Engine, one of the largest independent music distribution platforms in the world, with over 25,000 artists and 5,000 label clients; and Flighthouse, a digital entertainment and marketing agency focused on Gen Z, which has more than 28 million followers on TikTok. Create Music Group is based in Hollywood, CA and has 200 employees worldwide.