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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.

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India

Deep discount battle to hit customers badly: Dineout CEO

As the battle between online food aggregators and restaurants turns serious with more than 2,500 restaurants now logged out against the deep discounting practices of online food apps across the country, Dineout is concerned that the feud has led to confusion about the discounts among consumers who will be the worst-hit.

In an interview with , Ankit Mehrotra, Founder and CEO, Dineout said they want an early resolution to serve their customers better.

“We all want early resolution as customers are the worst-hit. They don”t have any clarity about the discounts and are receiving poor experiences at the restaurants. We want the restaurants to #loginback again and all of us should move ahead with an agreement in place,” Mehrotra emphasized.

According to him, the real challenge happens when one platform gets a higher discount for their customers and then, the others go back to the restaurants to demand the same discount.

“It then becomes a race to the bottom. So from our perspective, we just want things to return back to normal with uniformity around discounts,” Mehrotra told .

Founded in 2012, Dineout is one of the largest platforms in the country, seating more than 3 million diners on a monthly basis and working with more than 15,000 restaurant partners across 17 cities.

The food aggregator is looking to build a more sustainable and viable eco-system for both its restaurant partners and users using the Dineout platform.

“We actually don”t have an issue as such with the restaurants that have gone offline as they are still accepting reservations from us without a discount. Our only request is to clarify the stand on discounts and to make it uniform for all aggregators,” said Mehrotra.

“The main challenge is with deep discounts which, anyways, we do not take part in,” he informed.

Mehrotra said they are happy to have come to a positive consensus with the NRAI and support their restaurant partners.

“We have offered to extend our loyalty management module of our B2B platform — “inResto” — at zero cost to our restaurant partners in order to further our mission of making every restaurant in the country to be tech-enabled,” he said.

Over and beyond, Dineout”s premium offering of “Gourmet Passport” limits the redemptions to only three coupons per restaurant compared to unlimited redemptions on other platforms like Zomato Gold which offers 1+1 on food or 2+2 on drinks daily, 365 days in the year which has led to the turmoil in the industry.

“In consultation with the restaurants, we run promotional campaigns for shorter durations ( and not through the year) such as the ”Great Indian Restaurant Festival” which gives a higher discount to the consumer but for only limited covers per restaurant per day,” said the Dineout founder.

The festival as a concept was pioneered by Dineout in 2017 to five a boost to the industry.

According to him, their key demand is to stop deep discounts, which are unlimited in nature as they permanently devalue the product in the consumers” mind.

“From Day 1, the Dineout platform has been designed to enable restaurants to provide discounts which are completely customizable depending upon the days of the week and the time of the day,” he noted.

Each restaurant is free to decide its own discount and we don”t enforce a common unlimited discount strategy, said Mehrotra, adding that they want restaurants to enforce uniformity which levels the playing field for all aggregators.

(IANS)

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India

Gold prices have hit a record high ‘great gold bull market has begun’

Gold prices have hit a record high amid a rush for safe haven assets owing to the fears of a recession. Goehring & Rozencwajg, a research firm which focuses on investments in natural resources, says the great gold bull market has begun.

Gold prices have surged over 20 per cent since January 1 and touched a life-time high of $1,546.10 per troy ounce amid multiple headwinds, primarily US-China trade spat.

A bull market is defined by a condition in a financial market where a commodity, stock, currency or bond prices are rising or are expected to rise.

According to the Goehring & Rozencwajg”s report, this bull market will be driven by Western investors, and their buying pressure may have already started.

Recently, the UK and Germany”s economy contracted, raising fears of recession. Germany, the biggest European economy which is largely export-dependent, has been hit by US-China trade tensions.

The UK, the world”s fifth largest economy, recently logged negative growth, owing to the pressure on its businesses amid political uncertainty due to Brexit.

“Precious metals were strong last quarter, as more and more central bankers talked about cutting interest rates and undertaking additional quantitative easing,” the report said.

Gold rose 9 per cent while silver once again lagged, rising less than 1 per cent. Platinum fell 2 per cent and palladium (again being pushed because of restrictive diesel regulations in Europe) rose 11 per cent.

Explaining the gold bull run further, Goehring & Rozencwajg said gold stocks were also strong during the quarter, advancing by 14 per cent .

“We have seen a large increase in the physical accumulation by both gold and silver ETFs (exchange traded funds) over the last several months,” the firm said.

However, they added that the only thing that concerned them was the price of oil relative to gold.

“Over the last three years, we have been very bullish on global oil markets. We explained how we were waiting for gold to become undervalued relative to oil, just like it did back in the 1999-2000 period.

A “cheap” gold-oil ratio would give us our final signal that gold”s three-and-a-half-year corrective phase had come to a close” they added.

(IANS)

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India

IAF’s Jaguar suffers bird hit, lands safely in Ambala, Hariyana

It was narrow escape for an Indian Air Force Jaguar pilot on Thursday in an air base here when a bird hit the aircraft, officials said.

One of the engines of the aircraft failed after being hit by the bird. The pilot, however, managed to land safely.

(IANS)

Categories
Science & Technology

Space rock hit Moon at 61,000 km an hour in January

A space rock collided with the Moon at 61,000 km an hour, making a 10-15 metres crater during January’s total lunar eclipse, say astronomers.

Unlike the Earth, the Moon has no atmosphere to protect it and even small rocks can hit its surface.

Since these impacts take place at huge speeds, the rocks get instantaneously vaporised at the impact, producing an expanding plume of debris whose glow can be detected from our planet as short-duration flashes.

Observers watching the January 21 total eclipse saw a short-lived flash as a meteorite hit the lunar surface, according to a study published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Observers in North and South America and Western Europe enjoyed the best view of the lunar eclipse. Just after the beginning of the eclipse, a flash was seen on the lunar surface.

Amateur astronomers indicated that the flash was bright enough to be seen with the naked eye.

The Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS), which uses eight telescopes in south of Spain to monitor the lunar surface, recorded the moment of impact. Spanish astronomers Jose Maria Madiedo of the University of Huelva and Jose L. Ortiz of the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia operate the MIDAS.

The impact flash lasted 0.28 seconds and is the first filmed during a lunar eclipse, despite a number of earlier attempts. MIDAS telescopes observed the impact flash at multiple wavelengths (different colours of light), improving the analysis of the event.

Madiedo and Ortiz concluded that the incoming 30-60 cm rock had a mass of 45kg and hit the surface at 61,000 km an hour.

“It would be impossible to reproduce these high-speed collisions in a lab on Earth. Observing flashes is a great way to test our ideas on exactly what happens when a meteorite collides with the Moon,” Madiedo said.

The impact site is close to the crater Lagrange H, near the west-south-west portion of the lunar limb, the study said.

IANS

 

Categories
Business

Air India server crashes, Flight services hit on Saturday

Flight operations of national carrier, Air India, were hit for over five hours on Saturday after a glitch was reported in its main server.

Air India Chairman Ashwani Lohani said that the system has been restored but warned of delays as it will take time to normalise the situation.

At Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, ranked among the busiest airports in the world, thousands of passengers were stranded and many flights were affected in since 3.30 a.m.

“There is total chaos and confusion here, long queues of passengers,” said a passenger, T. Choudhary.

“Due to a breakdown in our server system some of our flights are getting affected all over the world. Work is on in full swing to restore the system,” the airline said in a statement earlier.

According to airline sources, the problem was apparently with the SITA server which provides the technology for check-in, baggage handling and boarding.

“We sincerely regret inconvenience caused to passengers,” the airline added.

IANS

Categories
World

3 fresh probes over privacy violation hit Facebook

Three countries have opened fresh rounds of investigations against Facebook for users’ privacy violations and security lapses.

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday announced a probe into Facebook harvesting email contacts for up to 1.5 million new users.

A Facebook spokesperson admitted last week that emails of 1.5 million people were harvested since May 2016 to help build Facebook’s web of social connections and recommend other users to add as friends.

“It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers’ personal information,” James said in a statement.

“Facebook has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers’ information while at the same time profiting from mining that data.”

Irish data protection watchdog on Thursday opened a probe into the breach of “hundreds of millions” of Facebook and Instagram user passwords that were stored in plain-text on its servers, TechCrunch repported

The Irish data protection authority will probe Facebook under the European GDPR data protection law, which could lead to hefty fines.

In Canada, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it will take Facebook to federal court to force the social networking giant to correct its “serious contraventions” of the Canadian privacy law.

“Canadian authorities confirmed that the beleaguered social networking giant broke its strict privacy laws,” the report said,

Battling several privacy violations, Facebook has kept aside $3 billion, anticipating a record fine coming from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that involved 87 million users.

“In the first quarter of 2019, we reasonably estimated a probable loss and recorded an accrual of $3 billion in connection with the inquiry of the FTC into our platform and user data practices,” the social networking giant wrote in its earnings statement.

“We estimate that the range of loss in this matter is $3 billion to $5 billion,” added Facebook.

The US FTC judgment on Facebook’s privacy violation is slated to come later this year.

IANS

Categories
Sports

India selectors happy to see Pandya hit form before WC

Off field controversies and issue with the core saw Hardik Pandya miss quite a few games for the country. But the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League has seen Pandya return with a bang and with the World Cup round the corner, that makes the national selectors feel relieved. The selectors are keeping a close eye on the performance of the players in the ongoing T20 league and the all-rounder’s match-winning show on Wednesday brought them immense joy.

Speaking to IANS, one of the national selectors said that whatever happened in the last few months were unfortunate and Pandya’s performance in the ongoing IPL is a clear indication that he has left the past behind and is looking to make up for lost time.

“The World Cup is round the corner and as selectors it is pleasing to the eye when you see someone like Hardik doing so well for Mumbai. It clearly shows that he has moved ahead and is focusing on his game. Whatever happened cannot be undone. But how you learn from those mistakes and rise is what is a true test of your character,” he said.

Sources in the Indian team management echoed the sentiments and said that Pandya has the X-factor that is needed to be a match-winner and that is why the team backs him to the hilt.

“He has that X-factor. He is fearless in his approach. Say, you are faced with a situation in the World Cup when you have an improbable chase on hand, he could win you the game. Or if you need quick wickets, the captain can always hand him the ball. He is one of those guys who loves to rise to the challenge. An in-form Hardik is always an advantage for the Indian team.

“Also, if you look at how he is playing for MI in this IPL, it definitely augurs well for the national team. The World Cup is round the corner and momentum is an important thing. A good show here will see him carry confidence into the showpiece event,” the source told IANS.

Pandya has been doing a great job with both bat and ball for MI. While he has scores of 32* off 14 balls against RCB, 31 off 19 balls against KXIP and 25* off 8 balls against CSK to show for his batting prowess late into the innings, the all-rounder has also picked four wickets in the season so far. He has himself also made it clear that his focus is the upcoming World Cup.

“These seven months weren’t easy and I wasn’t sure of what to do. My goal is to keep performing and hopefully, help India win the World Cup,” Pandya said after his efforts against Chennai on Wednesday.

IANS

Categories
World

Serial blasts hit New Year celebrations in the Afghan capital Kabul

Several people were feared killed or injured after three blasts hit New Year celebrations near a shrine in the Afghan capital Kabul on Thursday, witnesses said.

“We heard a huge blast at the main traffic circle in Jamal Mina neighbourhood at 9.30 a.m. and it was followed by two consecutive explosions,” a man, Mohammad Jafar, told Xinhua news agency.

The bomb attacks came as Afghan security forces beefed up security across the country ahead of Nawroz Festival celebrations falling on Thursday which marks the Afghan New Year.

“The area was closed for traffic as New Year celebrations were underway in Sakhi shrine but the blasts occurred as a big crowd of people were walking toward the shrine,” Jafar added.

Several warning shots were also fired by the security forces.

“There are casualties. We still cannot provide details,” a police officer told Xinhua.

IANS

Categories
India

We hit terrorists in their backyard after Pulwama; Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India hit terrorists in their backyard after the Pulwama terror attack and accused the previous Congress-led UPA government of lacking courage to take action against Pakistan-based terror groups after 26/11 Mumbai terror attack in 2008.

Addressing a rally here, Modi said what his government did post-Pulwama has not been done in decades.

“We hit terrorists in their houses. The terrorists and their masters were not expecting this kind of response. The air strikes were done at 3.30 am and Paksitan lost its sleep. They tweeted at 5 a.m. and started saying that Modi has hit us,” he said.

Recalling the surgical strike of 2016 in the wake of terror attack at Uri, he said terror masterminds were accustomed to thinking that India would do nothing, but his government has “taught them a lesson”.

He alleged that perception about inaction by India was due to the government that ruled India before 2014.

Modi said that there was need of action after the Mumbai terror attack that killed 166 people as the world community was with India.

“But it needs courage. There were proofs of involvement of terror masterminds based in Pakistan. But what did India do?” he asked.

Modi said the forces were ready for action but “Delhi was cold”. He said terror cannot be fought by constraining hands of defence force.

Referring to the terror incidents after the Mumbai attack, Modi said these were also linked to Pakistan but the “remote-controlled” government showed inaction.

“What did the then government do? They did not change the policy, but (changed) only home ministers. If they had shown the courage, given reply to terrorists in their language, terrorism would not have become such a big problem (for the country),” he said.

IANS

 

Categories
Business

Business worth Rs 25,000 cr hit as traders protest against Pulwama attack; CAIT

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Monday said that business worth about Rs 25,000 crore was hit due to the “Bharat Trade Bandh” that was called to protest against the recent Pulwama terror attack.

According to CAIT, the day-long bandh saw seven crore business establishments remain closed across the country, including Delhi.

“Business of about Rs 25,000 crore was hit due to today’s ‘Bharat Trade Bandh’,” the confederation said in a statement.

“In the wake of tremendous and spontaneous voluntary response from traders across the country, the CAIT has decided to create a Special Relief Fund exclusively for the welfare of the forces,” it said.

In the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir since militancy erupted in 1989, a suicide bomber on Thursday rammed his SUV packed with explosives into a CRPF bus on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district, killing as many as 40 troopers and leaving many injured.

IANS

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India

Rajasthan under swine flu threat as it claims 226 lives

Rajasthan continues to remain worst hit with swine flu as the death toll hit 85, while 2,263 patients have been found positive with the influenza, according to National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) report released on February 3.

According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the H1N1 virus commonly known as swine flu has so far claimed 226 lives across the country.

On Wednesday, a meeting was held by the health ministry headed by Secretary Preeti Sudan to review on action taken to deal swine flu.

The health ministry said that it has deputed a Public Health Team to Rajasthan to assess the situation and assist the states in strengthening response to the increase in cases. Additional teams to Gujarat and Punjab to assist the states in outbreak response has also been ordered.

“Regular video conferences are being held to monitor the situation. States have been advised to involve district collectors in enhancing public awareness and outbreak response,” the ministry stated.

Gujarat has the second most number of deaths (43) followed by Punjab (30), while more than 6,600 cases have been recorded in 2019.
Swine flu claims 226 lives, Rajasthan worst hit

IANS