No, I may not. At Rs.10/- per song surely not!
SareGaMa India Ltd., who hold rights to more than 65% of all the songs recorded in Indian Music Industry, has announced that they will be offering Hindi music online for downloads legally at very competitive rates – as low as Rs. 10 per song.
WOW, Rs. 10/- per song…Do you really think it is cheap?
How much does a normal Audio CD cost you? I suppose it is in the range of Rs.90 to Rs.100 or even lesser. And what are the number of average songs on that one Music CD?… around 15 songs. That turns out to be approximately Rs. 6 to Rs. 7 per song. So how is Rs. 10 per song cheaper than Rs. 6 per song on a normal Audio CD.? Okay, I have done a pretty basic comparison. Online downloads does have a few advantages for sure, but please refrain from saying Rs. 10/- per song as cheap. It is not!
The much realistic question is -why should I pay any money when I am getting my favorite songs free, quite easily. Yes, most of us know that there are hundreds of places on the web where all kinds of music are available for download, illegally. And “illegal download” in India has not attracted too much of attention as it has here in the US.
I will give you my own example. I visited India last year. During my stay I was going to drive long hours along with my friends visiting different places. What better thing to make that travel comfortable than to play some songs with Nasal twang (pun intended). So, one of my friends got some music cds to play during our travel. I asked him about what music he had and he mentioned, “What ever music you want is there on these cds.” To my surprise, he had everything on those 5 cds. It had more than 600 songs of all the hit releases in last 5 years. When asked him about the price, it cost less than Rs 150/-. Now you can do the maths yourself ! They were pirated bollywood mp3 Cds (I guess now a days capr mp3 players are commonplace) that cost him about Rs.30 per mp3 cd containing 150 songs apiece.
(I am in no way suggesting buying or downloading illegaly is right. I personally do not do it and I firmly believe you should not do it too. Please spare a thought for the efforts spent by Music artists, directors and music producers)
According to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, it is estimated that there are 40 illegal downloads for every one legal download. I assume the rate in India to be much higher, probably 1 legal download in every 100 illegal.
And worst of all is, the traditional way of listening to music itself is changing. This is the age of IPods, Zunes and Iphones. No one listens to the conventional audio systems anymore.
The sales for traditional consumer electronics are going down each passing year. According to me in a decade they will completely vanish.
My simple question to readers is, with all scenario mentioned above, will you buy hindi music online at Rs. 10/- ?