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India

Regional Music Consumption Hit A 3 Year High in 2019

  • Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam music ruled music streaming charts in 2019 
  • Regional music now contributes more than 35% consumption on Gaana
  • India’s music streaming market to grow to 600 million users in the next 3 years 

India’s No.1 music streaming app, Gaana’s annual report on the country’s music consumption trends registered an unprecedented demand for regional music. This genre accounted for more than 1 Bn music streams in Dec 2019, registering an incredible (8X) growth in the past 2.5 years – making regional music the most vibrant and potent genre in the country’s audio OTT market.

Currently regional music accounts for more than 35% OTT music consumption, with more than half of all users of regional music coming from smaller cities. Given the rising popularity of Punjabi, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam music across the country, the country’s audio OTT market is expected to grow to 600 million users in the next 3 years, buoyed by the surging interest in regional music consumption. Gaana Originals, Gaana’s initiative to promote regional non-film music also saw a sharp jump and now contributes more than 100 MN streams per month. The most notable song amongst the Gaana Originals was Lehanga by Jas Manak that topped all charts in 2019 and crossed 115 Mn streams on Gaana.

Commenting on the year gone by, Gaana CEO Prashan Agarwal said: “2019 was a landmark year for music lovers, artists and the industry in more ways than one. The meteoric rise in regional music consumption across the nation marks one of the biggest cultural shifts in perception of music in the past decade. As established and emerging musical artists across the country realised the growing importance of music streaming apps to reach their fans at scale in their own language, our primarily young music streaming population are embracing their respective cultures and are ‘going back to their roots’. It’s no longer ‘uncool’ to groove to music from your own region or culture, it’s rather the ‘in’ thing to have a playlist featuring music in multiple languages. At Gaana, we are humbled to be at the centre of this vibrant blend of cultures, powering these musical connections that celebrates our country’s unity and diversity.”

Besides the rising interest in regional music, the most popular music artists of 2019 were Tanishk Bagchi, Arijit Singh and Neha Kakkar for most of the northern and western states, whereas Punjab and Haryana had regional artistes like Jas Manak, Diljit Dosanjh, Guru Randhawa, Sukh-E Muzical Doctorz and B Praak winning hearts. Down South, Telangana favored Devi Sri Prasad, Sid Sriram and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam; Tamil Nadu prefered A. R. Rahman, Anirudh Ravichander and Tamizha while Kerala was grooving to A. R. Rahman, Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal. In terms of music preferences, Tanishq Bagchi’s Tere Bin, DSP’s Ek Baar, A.R Rehman’s Thalli Pogathey, Guru Randhawa’s Ishare Tere, Arijit Singh’s Ve Maahi and Neha Kakkar’s Aankh Marey were the most popular hits across the country.

Categories
Sports

Playerzpot among Top 10 Online Sports Fantasy Portal

It is fascinating to witness the evolving landscape of Indian sports and the rapid rise of online fantasy gaming in the country/ fan engagement. Cricket matches are one of the two occasions annually where every Indian feels the patriotic surge and cheers for the nation, our cricket team and those individuals playing representing our nation. The matches are gripping and over some time gradually fans shift to affiliate with the individuals, playing for the nation more than the game itself.  Playerzpot is an online sports fantasy portal. It is a platform with over 1 million users in India.  Playerzpot offers its users Fantasy gaming for Cricket, Football & Kabaddi matches. Within 4 years of inception, Playerzpot today ranks among the TOP 10 Fantasy Platforms in India with a 1% market share. What’s fascinating about the company is that it’s a profitable business amidst the fierce competition.

It is a multi-sport aggregator platform that offers Free to Play, Pay to Play, content, commerce and community engagement for various sports. With their customer-centric approach, they ensure the highest possible gain for their customers in the easiest, reliable and secure way. Their unique referral system allows users to earn while sitting from the comfort of their homes.

The Founder and Director of the company Yogesh Doiphode is an IT graduate from VJTI and a vivid sports lover with a vision of changing the gaming landscape in India. Mitesh Gangar is the Co-Founder and Director, who is a veteran in programming, as a full stack developer and Android developer. Under their capable leadership, they expect to see Playerzpot changing the way an Indian sports fan can consume sports online.

They hold experience of converting a start-up into a profitable business by using the best possible marketing strategies. They have been using strong methods to turn this venture into a big part of the lucrative business in the current market. They have established Standard Operating Procedures; Playerzpot’s Fantasy sports aspires to be one of the best games to play.

India has over 300 million online sports fans, of which over 60 million use fantasy sports as their primary tool for engagement with their favorite sport. In all likelihood, the next wave of growth in sports consumption will mainly be driven by fantasy sports and sports content platforms. Playerzpot is a futuristic project with great potential. The portal provides curated sports experience across the available sports format enabling fan engagement with peers and people sitting across the country.

Categories
India

How TikTok made Modi popular among young voters

Nearly 1.5 crore young “digital natives”, most of whom cast their votes for the first time, chose to vote for Narendra Modi as India’s next prime minister and Chinese short video-sharing app TikTok played a great role in creating a “Modi wave” among them.

While the seasoned members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were busy charting out strategies and organising rallies, the younger, tech-savvy karyakartas took charge of expanding Modi’s digital presence across platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — and TikTok.

TikTok, which claims to have over 120 million monthly active users in India, played a crucial part in circulating dialogues, speeches and candid reactions from Modi on smartphones across the length and breadth of the country.

“One day, my Instagram was flooded with TikTok videos showing Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Modi sharing hugs and winks during a Parliament session with ‘Aankh maare, ladka aankh maare’ song playing in the background. It will always be one of my favourites this election season,” Riya Kalwani, content writer from Mumbai told IANS.

“Seriously, whoever took the time and energy to make these videos, hats off to them,” she added.

The app-struck young voters took to the platform to record themselves, shouting the famous “Mitro” and “Iss baar fir Modi sarkar” videos, hash-tagged them with social media trends and shared those.

After Modi prefixed the word “Chowkidar” before his name on Twitter, TikTokers went berserk.

Not just individuals but families recorded themselves imitating Modi’s “Aap aashvast rahiye, aapka ye chowkidar, poori tarah chowkanna hai” dialogue along with videos on the “Mein bhi chowkidar hu” songs.

“So many people did TikTok videos on ‘Zyada se zyada ye mera kya kar lenge? Aree hum toh fakeer aadmi hai, jhola leke chal padenge’ dialogue. It was everywhere. There was also this one where people have dubbed Modi discussing popular daily soap ‘Ye rishta kya kehlata hai.’ Just hilarious,” said Deepika Tiwari, a media student.

Another TikTok video that trended showed a TV screen recording of Modi speaking in a session with a paper in hand and his supporters banging the table behind him in agreement along with a famous dialogue from Bollywood movie “Munna Bhai MBBS”: ‘Sir, bahar casualty mei koi marrne ki halat pe raha, toh usko form bharna zaroori hai kya?”

In addition to Hindi, several TikTok videos were shared in other regional languages including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Gujarati and Bengali.

In an interview with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, Modi said that he enjoys memes on the Internet.

The clip became a sensational TikTok topic that floated on social media platforms for quite a while.

(IANS)

Categories
India

Civilian among three killed in Shopian gunfight in J&K

While a police statement said that three militants were killed in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district, it was confirmed later that one of the victim was a civilian.

The police said in a statement on Thursday that three militants were killed in the gunfight that took place earlier in the day in Handew village.

While two victims were identified as Yawar Mushtaq and Shakeel Ahmed, both Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) militants from Shopian, the third was identified as a civilian, Ishtiyaq Ahmed Bhat.

A soldier, Rohit Kumar Yadav who was injured in the gunfight, succumbed to his wounds on Thursday night in the Army’s 92 base hospital in Srinagar, the police said.

In Thursday’s two gunfights in Pulwama and Shopian districts killed a total of five militants, two civilians and two soldiers.

Three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants, including a top commander identified as a Pakistan national Khalid Bhai, a civilian and a soldier were killed in a gunfight in Dalipora village of Pulwama.

Police said Khalid Bhai had masterminded the 2017 attack on the Lethpora CRPF camp in Pulwama district in which five troopers were killed.

In a third shootout between the security forces and militants in Kupwara’s Kandi forests on Thursday, there were no reports of any casualty.

(IANS)

Categories
India

BJP creating divisions among people, says Akhilesh Yadav

Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is creating frictions among people.

Addressing an election rally here in Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party President said: “BJP is thriving on a ‘divide and rule’ policy. The party wants to spread hatred. People are losing trust on the party, hence it is creating divisions among them.”

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “Last time (in 2014) he collected votes by offering tea. He made us see dreams that black money would disappear. Money is never black, transactions and dealings are.”

Hoping that “Mahagathbandhan”, an alliance of opposition parties, would defeat the BJP, the former Chief Minister urged the people not to trust those dividing the people.

“Mahagathbandhan will bring ‘maha-parivartan’ (a massive change),” he said.

IANS

Categories
India

2 JD-S members among Indians killed in Sri Lanka blasts

Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday said that two Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) members were among the five Indians who were killed along with 285 others in the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka.

“I am shocked to hear that a seven-member team of JD-S workers from Karnataka, who were touring Colombo, has gone missing after the bomb blasts. Two of them are feared killed in the terror strike. I am in constant touch with the Indian High Commission on the reports of those missing,” Kumaraswamy said in a series of tweets.

“External Affairs Minister @SushmaSwaraj has confirmed the death of two Kannadigas, K.G. Hanumantharayappa and M. Rangappa, in the bomb blasts… I am deeply shocked at the loss of our JD-S party workers, whom I know personally. We stand with their families in this hour of grief.”

On Monday morning, the Indian High Commission in Colombo confirmed the names of Hanumantharayappa and Rangappa. The tweet came after Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday night had confirmed the names of three other Indian nationals — Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh.

It was not immediately clear if the other three were also JD-S members.

IANS

Categories
World

Five Indians among 290 dead in Sri Lanka bombings

Five Indians are among the 290 people who have been confirmed dead in the deadly Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, as police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera on Monday confirmed that 24 suspects have been arrested for their involvement in the island’s bloodiest attacks in a decade.

On Monday morning, the Indian High Commission in Colombo confirmed the names of two more Indian victims.

“We sadly confirm the deaths of the following two individuals in the blasts yesterday: K.G. Hanumantharayappa, M. Rangappa,” the Mission said in a tweet.

The Monday morning tweet came after Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday night had confirmed the names of three other Indian nationals — Lakshmi, Narayan Chandrashekhar and Ramesh.

Meanwhile, Gunasekera also said that 500 people were injured and were admitted in various hospitals and medical facilities.

He said that the police has seized a van and its driver who is suspected of transporting the suspects into Colombo and also raided a safe house used by the attackers.

No group has yet claimed direct responsibility yet.

The first of the eight blasts took place on Sunday morning in three luxury hotels — Cinnamon Grand, Shangri-la, Kingsbury — in the heart of Colombo and in a church each in Colombo, Negombo, 30 km from here, and in the Tamil-majority Batticaloa town in the island’s east that was once a Tamil Tiger stronghold.

Later in the afternoon, another blast hit a guest house near the zoo in Dehiwala in Colombo, killing two persons, and a housing complex at Dematogoda in the city leaving three policemen dead.

IANS

Categories
India

Andhra physician among Ethiopian plane crash victims

A US-based young physician from Andhra Pradesh was among the 157 killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

Nukavarapu Manisha, hailing from Guntur district, was on her way to Nairobi to see her sister who had delivered three baby boys a few days ago.

She was also looking to visit her parents Venkateshwar Rao and Bharathi, who were with their elder daughter.

A relative of Manisha tweeted to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj that her parents were waiting to receive the body in Nairobi. The Minister replied that she had asked Rahul Chhabra, the Indian High Commissioner in Nairobi, to provide all help and assistance.

Four Indians were among those who died in the Boeing 737 jet crash on Sunday which occurred shortly after it took off from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

After doing medicine from Guntur Medical College, Manisha went to the US for higher studies and was settled in Tennessee.

She is listed as one of the resident physicians of Department of Internal Medicine, Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University.

IANS

Categories
World

Four Indians among 157 killed in Ethiopia plane crash

As many as four Indians were among the 157 people killed in the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on Sunday.

The plane, Boeing 737 Max-8 en route to Nairobi, crashed shortly after taking off from the Ethiopian capital, killing all 149 passengers and 8 crew on board, according to media reports.

“Profound condolences to the families of 149 passengers killed in an Ethiopian Airlines crash soon after takeoff from Addis Ababa en route to Nairobi. Among them were 4 Indians & 4 UN staff. RIP,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam said passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the flight, the BBC reported. They included 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, 9 Ethiopians, 8 Italians, 8 Chinese, 8 Americans, 7 Britons, 7 French, 6 Egyptians, 5 Dutch citizens, 4 Indians and 4 from Slovakia.

Three Austrians, 3 Swedes, 3 Russians, 2 Moroccans, 2 Spaniards, 2 Poles and 2 Israelis were also on the flight.

One passenger each belonged to Belgium, Indonesia, Somalia, Norway, Serbia, Togo, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda and Yemen.

The crash happened at 8.44 a.m., six minutes after the Boeing 737 Max-8 took off.

The cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained.

IANS

Categories
India

Major, 2 JeM commanders among 7 killed in Pulwama encounter

Seven people, including an Indian Army major and two Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants, were killed in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, barely 10 km away from the spot of the deadly February 14 suicide attack on the CRPF convoy, police said on Monday.

Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said: “One of the two slain JeM terrorists was a top commander and belonged to Pakistan.”

The gun battle also claimed the lives of three other soldiers of different ranks along with a civilian identified as Mushtaq Ahmad.

The gunfight started late on Sunday after security forces, including the Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), surrounded the village following a tip off that JeM militants were hiding in Pinglena village.

“As the cordon was tightened, the holed-up militants fired triggering the gunfight. Firing exchanges are continuing at the encounter site,” Kalia added.

The gun battle comes less than a week after 49 CRPF troopers lost their lives following the attack that was carried out by a JeM suicide bomber on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama.

It was the worst-ever attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in the state in 1989.

IANS

Categories
India

FDA Inspector among 17 dead in Arpit Palace hotel fire

An Inspector with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from Pune was one of the 17 persons who died in a fire tragedy at Arpit Palace hotel in the heart of the national capital on early Tuesday.

“Rahul Kumar, who was in Delhi, had talked to his wife over phone informing her that he would return on Tuesday, but he did not know he would also die along with two of his friends — Dr Shankar Narayan and Dr Santosh Wale — who were putting up in Room No. 401 of the hotel,” his relative Srinivasan told IANS.

Dr Shankar Narayan from Tamil Nadu and Dr Santosh Wale had come to Delhi to attend a medical seminar in Connaught Place. They had booked a room in the ill-fated hotel.

“On Monday night, they called their old friend Rahul Kumar for a meeting in the hotel. Rahul told his wife that he wanted to leave but he would stay with Santosh Wale and Shankar Narayan due to their insistence,” Srinivasan said.

“In the fire tragedy, they all were suffocated to death after being trapped in their room and could not get out,” he added.

IANS

Categories
Business

ICICI-Videocon, PNB fraud among top five cases under CBI lens

The corruption case against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar in Rs 3,250-crore loan irregularity involving the Videocon Group and the ICICI Bank is learnt to be part of top five cases being probed on a priority by the CBI which is now set to focus on these matters under its newly appointed Director Rishi Kumar Shukla, sources said.

Other cases under special scrutiny include multi-crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case involving fugitive diamantire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, AgustaWestland chopper deal, business tycoon Vijay Mallya loan fraud, and INX Media case linked to former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and his son Karti, said an official.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now planning to issue summons to Chanda Kochhar, her husband and NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd MD Deepak Kochhar, and Videocon Group MD Dhoot, and others in the case dating back to 2009-2012. On January 23, the CBI registered a case in the matter and carried out raids at four places the next day.

Chanda Kochhar is allegedly of “sanctioning loans to private companies in a criminal conspiracy with other accused to cheat ICICI Bank”. The FIR followed a preliminary enquiry (PE) instituted on March 31, 2018, against Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group officials and others to determine whether any wrongdoing was involved in the sanctioning of loan by the ICICI Bank as part of a consortium.

Extraditing diamantaire Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who are accused in Rs 13,500 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud case, is learnt to be the prime agenda of the central probe agency.

The CBI registered the first FIR in the matter on January 31, 2018 against Nirav Modi and Choksi for defrauding the PNB’s Brady House branch in Mumbai by illegally issuing Letters of Undertaking and Foreign Letters of Credit during 2011-17.

As both the businessmen had left India before the CBI started its investigations, the agency has managed to issue Red Corner notices against them. Choksi’s location has been traced to Antigua while whereabouts of Nirav Modi is not clear yet. The CBI, however, has filed chargesheet in the case.

In Rs 3,600-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal case, the CBI has expedited its investigation after December 4, 2018, when it, with the help of Central government, secured the extradition from the United Arab Emirates of British national Christian Michel James, the middlemen of the deal. The CBI has filed chargesheets in the case but the investigation is still on.

In connection with the case, the Enforcement Directorate, which is also probing the money laundering angle in the case, last week secured extradition of co-accused Rajiv Saxena from UAE. Saxena in connivance with Gautam Khaitan, a lawyer, is accused of providing corporate structure across the globe to the laundered money for payment to various political persons, bureaucrats and air force officials to influence the contract for supplying 12 VVIP helicopters in favour of AgustaWestland.

The CBI is also in the process of extraditing liquor baron Vijay Mallya against whom a Mumbai court on January 5 issued order declaring him a ‘fugitive’ under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018. The agency last year had also scored success when a British court ordered extradition of Mallya, who fled India in March 2016 over a Rs 9,000-crore bank loan fraud.

In INX Media case, the CBI and the ED last month told the Delhi High Court that custodial interrogation of senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram was required. However, though Chidambaram does not figure in the CBI FIR, the agency questioned him earlier in 2018.

His son Karti was arrested on February 28 by the CBI for allegedly taking money to facilitate the FIPB clearance to INX Media in 2007 when his father was the Finance Minister. Later, he was granted bail.

IANS