Monday, January 22, 2007

Music for the ears

The Indian music industry is growing through sea-change these days. Traditionally a cassette and CD playing market, India is suddenly waking up to the potential of digital music. Recent example of digital music by films like KANK, DON, Jan-e-Mann, and Salam-e-Ishq are prime example of the growing demand in digital music. The crucial point is that promoting an album in the physical format is expensive, while the money that accrues from digital sales is all profit because it is one file that is downloaded again and again.

Physical sales of CD’s and tapes dwindled to Rs. 720 crore from Rs. 1081 crore in 2001. Though the number of CD’s sold has gone up from 10 million in 2000-01 to 36 million in 2005, the fall in the sales of cassettes has been drastic. On the other hand sales of mobile music – ringtones, true tones, full track downloads and video clips – have zoomed to Rs. 450 crore with 300 million downloads per annum. This figure is set to double over the next 12 – 18 months.

According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report on entertainment, the mobile music industry in India will be the largest at Rs. 3600 crore by 2009-10.

India, with its mobile consumer base of 130 million, is witnessing a boom in the consumption of mobile music. This segment s likely to contribute Rs. 120 crore to the bottomline of music companies this year, while consumers will pay up to Rs. 450 crore for downloading music on their phones.

This is another reason why marketers should bank on this growing category. No wonder, mobile companies like Nokia, Motorola, and Sony Ericsson are increasingly focusing on music playing mobiles.

And how exactly can they benefit? Maybe start creating more memorable jingles, brand songs, memes, signature tunes etc. which can be downloaded as music on the move. Maybe create a database of consumers who like certain brands and send it as free gift.

Digitization allows music companies to cater to specific needs of consumers. For instance there is a significant market for old classical music by artists and consumers are willing to pay different amounts for multiple devices. Not to forget the advantage digitization allows in combating piracy. To check piracy now phones are designed such that once a track is downloaded, it gets locked on the handset and cannot be forwarded enabling any kind of revenue loss.

Digital music (online and mobile) will outsell physical music in India by the end of this year. It will be largely defined by the growth in the mobile music sector. With new delivery channels of music such as FM stations and WAP sites emerging, entertainment companies, music publishing companies, production houses and equipment manufacturers are waking up to a booming music market. This revenue stream has given lease of life to some very old music companies too.

After music, it will be the digitization of our favorite Bollywood flicks. What’s next? Mobisodes of K serials?? Podcast of Sri Sri and his meditation techniques???

Technology you’re truly transforming.


gururanganathan said...

hi roop,

we could see the booming up of the digitalisation in the music industry ,but at the same time the physical selling of cds are world is making continous losses due to piracy of cassetes and cds.. would there be any solution to this market as such or u feel it's dead????

pooR_Planner said...

Well if you ask me if the industry can be 100% piracy proof, I don't think its possible. I think as we become more tech savvy, analog technology will become a passe. Cassette/CD will make way for digital music. Yes digitization will increase piracy but companies are working together to reduce that. Technologies are being developed where you can download but cannot forward or share, pay per listen etc. a move towards reducing piracy .

Ajju said...

Do you know of any companies selling digital music in India (Online). I don't.

pooR_Planner said...

Soundbuzz is one such company selling music online in India.