Novel Modes of Music Merchandizing

23 10 2009

Here is a short quiz. Which is the largest selling brand of FM Radio in India? Which is the largest selling brand of music players in the country? The answers for both the question are the same.

Nokia.

 The cell phones of today are multipurpose devices, voice services being just one of the many features. The market leader in cell phone becomes the leader in other segments too.

In cities it is a common sight to see security guards and waiting drivers, playing music on their cell phone to battle their boredom. 

Seeing the opportunity of selling legally copyrighted music to these new customers of music T-Series has launched music in Micro SD cards and USB pen-drives with   the Bollywood movie Blue. The Micro SD card is priced at Rs 475 and the USB pen drive  2GB is priced at Rs 525.

Nokia already has set up an online music store with a huge library of over 30,00,000 songs. Several models of Nokia come with preloaded songs.

The Apple iPods and other MP3 players had already taken the market in the western countries. In India, because of their high price they did not make much of a mark. Micro SD cards played on cell phones has a great future in India. Nearly 400 Million Indians have a cell phone, so if the pricing is right, the market can become significant.

Music loaded in pen drives also has a good prospect. Besides, the desktop and laptop computers, increasingly the set-top boxes provided by DTH operators have a USB port. The only hitch here is that given the easy availability of freely downloadable music on the Internet, customers are unlikely to pay Rs 525 for pen drives many times.

The Micro SD cards and USB drives do offer other opportunities for entrepreneurs. Will the semi-literate cell phone user use his cell phone for education? How about an English speaking course on these cards ? Can audio books on self-improvement and management subjects be published on USB drives for the laptop users ? 

What the CD-ROMs could not do can the Micro SD cards and USB drives do ?

–       G. Mohan

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