Piracy is one the biggest problems of the Film & Music industry. In a country like India where there are no strict laws against internet pirates, the music industry loses a lot. Earlier, before internet went mainstream in India, people used to buy the cassettes from the shops and piracy was not that big a problem. Now, as the penetration of the internet has increased, so has the piracy.
Saregama, one of the oldest media companies in the country has adopted a new strategy for combating piracy. It earlier offered free online streaming of over 1.1 lakh songs and now it is offering legal song downloads starting at Rs. 2. The company believes that by offering songs at such a dirt-cheap price tag of Rs. 2 per song, they would be able to contain piracy by a significant amount.
“Piracy is the biggest threat to our music industry. Our research tells us that consumers are ready to choose legal copies over pirated ones, provided they are affordable and easy to buy,” said Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, Saregama India.
Saregama would offer over 1.1 lakh songs for download at just Rs. 2/song. Under this offer the users can download Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, and Tamil songs from Saregama.com. The company is offering MP3 songs for Rs. 2 and HD songs at Rs. 10.
Users would be able to download songs of various popular artists like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Mukesh, Mohd Rafi, Jagjit Singh, and others.
This is a very aggressive pricing strategy that the company has chosen to adopt. With this strategy Saregama is now focussing on the volume game and would compete head-on with the popular music streaming services like Hungama, Saavn, Wynk, Gaana, Rdio, and many more.
Many in India can’t afford to buy songs legally so they resort to piracy for listening to their favourite music. This strategy to offer songs at just Rs. 2 for combating piracy seems logical, at least on paper.
Mehra also mentioned that the traffic on Saregama.com has increased by more than 2.5x while the sales has increased by 4x, without conducting any kind of promotional activity. This confirms that people are responding very positively and are legally buying more songs than ever.
It remains to be seen what music streaming companies would do to tackle this move of Saregama, but buying songs is bound to become much more affordable in future.