viyane wrote:Making money...the Mobile way
Mobile downloads and related media have revolutionised the music business. And music labels upbeat about a new revenue stream are compelled to do a rethink on business strategies
This year has not been very fortuitous at the b-o., but the music industry is not complaining. Because the digital download scenario is spiralling and everyone's upbeat about the technological revolution that has given copyright owners a big boost in business. The mobile downloads pegged around 250-300 crore for content owners is expected to touch Rs 600 cr by 2010. For mobile operators, the business is likely to be thrice as much.
The winning tracks:
Neeraj Kalyan, Vice-President, International Licensing, Publishing and Internet, T-Series, is chuckling over the massive reception to their latest humdinger Karzzz, incidentally their own production. "The reception is phenomenal to at least four tracks, Lut gaye, Hari Om, Tandoori nights and the re-created Ek hasina thi across the country. And Dhoom tere ishq ki is fast catching up."
For T-Series, the year has been studded with hits like Om Shanti Om (Aankhon mein and the title-track), Jab We Met (Nagada bajaa, Mouja hi mouja, Yeh ishq haaye and Tumse hi in a neck-to-neck race) and Bhool Bhulaiya (Hare Ram hare Ram) besides the title-track of Krazzy 4, Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na (Kabhi kabhi Aditi and Pappu can't dance saala) and even Tujhe Aksa beach (God Tussi Great Ho). The first three are 2007 releases whose sales have sustained even during this year.
Kulmeet Makkar, CEO, Big Music, is upbeat about their Rock On!! and says, "It takes about two months to get accurate business figures from mobile operators but as of now two or three tracks from the film figure in the top five. From our 2007 lot, Johnny Gaddaar (Move your body) and Cash (Mindblowing maahiya and the title-song) continued their sway into this year."
Equally exhilarated is Adarsh Gupta, COO, Times Music, who launched Junglee Music, an edgy, young label for mainstream film music in 2007, and struck gold with their first soundtrack Welcome, which had Tera ooncha lamba kad, Kiya kiya kya kiya and the title-track. Six months later, they hit a high again with Singh Is Kinng, with Jee karda, Bhootni ke, Teri ore and the title-track. "We have been very lucky," says Gupta. "We also had 2 Tamil and 1 Kannada film that gave us a hundred percent hit record. Sonu Niigaam's Maha Ganesh and many other non-film titles on Times Music have done well too."
Kunal Taurani, who heads the Digital Music Business of Tips Industries, even goes to the extent of stating that Pehli nazar mein from Race has broken all download records and set new benchmarks in what can be achieved in ring-tones and caller-tunes in the Indian audio industry. Zaraa zaraa touch me came close and with Kismat Konnection they have scored another winner in Bakhuda.
Even UTV Music has scored a winner in their first film Jodhaa Akbar, and T.N.Prabhu, CEO, UTV New Media Ltd., declares that the caller-tunes have touched 2.5 million downloads till July. "That's in the Indian market alone," says Prabhu. "The hottest tracks are Kehne ko jashn-e-bahara hai and Khwaja mere Khwaja."
The sales pitch:
Kulmeet Makkar stresses on how even digital success (to coin a term) is about striking a perfect synergy between a great product and a digital platform-specific marketing focus. "For Rock On!! we have ensured specific promotional budgets for physical, online, mobile etc. and a 360-degree marketing strategy with on-ground concerts at metros, linked also to contests with chances to win autographed CDs and opportunities to meet the team of the film and attend live performances."
He adds, "We have promoters selling CDs outside the movie halls. The so-called 'rock' songs have an emotional connect across all genres, boosted by the fact that the music is built into the script. We are creating multiple products for the film like mobile-clips, text-packs et al and are dealing with operators across the world directly. On the 'Net, we have 370 sites deployed across 35 countries, and Rock On!!'s i-Tunes have debuted at No.13 on the World Music charts, directly competing with mainstream American and UK content."
Agrees Neeraj Kalyan, "Innovation scores in marketing digital music too. Downloads are not planned purchases but instant buys. You like a promo on television and download instantly. We have just begun mobile-specific promotion that says TV Se Nikaal Mobile Mein Daal (Remove the song from TV and put it in your mobile). This is also for our all-time hits like Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak, Tezaab and others." T-Series has has an exclusive worldwide tie-up with Hungama.com for digital music business. Saregama and UTV New Media (which is just one soundtrack old) agree that conventional methods like SMS pushes can also work with good products.
The proceeds from the digital side now constitutes a solid chunk of the total music business. While Saregama, T-Series and Big Music placed the figure at 30-35 percent of total sales and growing, Adarsh Gupta of Junglee Music would peg the digital chunk of the music pie as high as 40-50 percent. But Kunal Taurani says that this can vary extremely from album to album. "If someone keeps one caller-tune for twelve months, the download units increase as the song keeps being renewed."
So what kind of tracks work best in the domain of the digital? Stresses Kalyan, "A situational song from a film can sell as much as an end-credits promotional video." Says Kulmeet, "We are looking at music that is a part of the film, whether it is digital-friendly or not." Kunal has a different perspective: "The 'item song"-like numbers are chosen by those who want the latest hits. And melodies are usually downloaded by music lovers who want a specific song and does not change it frequently."
So whether it is a time-honoured melody or the dance-anthem of the fortnight, the groove is indeed on the move. Because music just got more personal.
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