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Wireless Utopia

The journey towards a free wireless world.

Mobile Music in India

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A startling bit of news from MoCoNews about the rising trend of preloaded songs in High End mobile phones in India. Its a Rs. 500 Crore Industry in India and is on the verge of overtaking the traditional industry in India! And most of the music is not even Bollywood hindi songs. They are international hits which are bundled to show off the music capabilities of the phone. The surprising bit is that they still dont have DRM capabilities and therefore can be copied and shared freely. Given the brouhaha about music sharing in US, one wonders as to how exactly is this made possible.

The answer it seems is in the business model. The methods of payments right now are per-song based royalties or buying out of the complete rights of the songs. That i guess rules out all the A-list record labels and chartbuster songs. But then the focus is not really on selling the song. The song is is just another marketing tool to attaract consumers.

By my personal experience, having the latest mp3's on your phone is a very common thing in India. Bollywood churns a huge number of hit songs each year and they can be readily found on the mp3's sites available for free download. All of them illegal of course. Among the urban population its a fad to have the latest hit song on your mobile. A leagal alternative to this currently does not exist.

Given all that, how big is the legitimate mobile music market in India? No numbers or market reports are available. The iPod's still have not fourished in the indian market yet. Not a lot of people are comforatble using credit card onlline still in India. But there are 100 millon mobile phone users out of which around 10 percent would be having a music capable phone at least. A low priced music donwload service linked to the service plan might just work!

Tags: Mobile Music Download DRM iTunes India
posted by Rajiv, 3:02 AM


Seems like a huge market there. mobile's a must in each middle class pocket. And our 'value for money' orientation will want us to expect more from the investment we make in these instruments. FM Radio why not? MP3, why not? Legal music download service on mobiles - that should be a big hit in our country.
Said Anonymous silkboard, 8:16 AM  

ya.. we need a steeve job in india to do it. :).

but honestly there lies a great concept for wannabe entrepreneurs. classic case. unorganized market, big volumes, huge mobile penetration.
Said Blogger Rajiv, 9:56 AM  

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