Ten suggestions to the Indian Music industry from a Music Lover

Since I am an admirer of good music and since music piracy is huge in India, I wanted to find out if anything is happening in the right direction to reduce it.

The primary method of selling songs to consumers, it seems, is still the VCD/DVD. They are sold both through the shops and online retailers.

But as consumers, there are certain things that we might expect. So, here are my ten suggestions to the Indian music industry that might help reduce piracy (at least, make a start in the right direction)…

1. Music should be sold as individual songs (We only listen to some songs in an album, not the whole album).

2. Those individual songs should be priced reasonably less.

3. Official song depots / existing music stores should allow us to select MP3 songs, and upon paying, just transfer it to our pen-drives or mobile phones directly. Why waste CD’s?

4. Allow to download individual songs legally (after paying) from an official website. It cannot get simpler than that, can it?

5. Give a sample of all the songs in display (30 seconds of what the artist thinks is the best part of the song), so that people get to listen to them before buying. Or better, even the full song can be streamed like online radio.

6. Come up with Top-20/ Top-50/ Top-100 and most popular songs listings. People need exposure as to which songs are the current favorites and doing well. An interactive medium which allows people to vote, conducts competitions etc to identify the most liked songs, would be helpful.

7. Allow individual artistes to host and sell their own songs (Like cdbaby.com, but priced much lesser for the Indian market) – We might get a lot of new and talented singers that way.

8. The Music talent shows that are televised on TV feature some good singers and their songs should be hosted online as well so that people can listen to some of the songs at their leisure. Better still, create and give a direct link to an online store where the consumers can buy and download those songs.

9. Each part of India has its own specialty – From the Carnatic music to the Hindustani music, from the various unique Instrumentals to Ghazals we arguably have the best of songs and artists. But the exposure to those art forms (various musical types, songs and artistes) remains very low till date! (In fact, I feel that two things where India is really hard to beat is the depth of the soulful classical music and the variety of the vegetarian food and dishes). Use the Internet and other forms of media (TV, Newspapers, Magazines, etc) to give exposures to some great works from diverse locations, genres and artists.

10. Run anti-piracy campaigns. Many consumers in India are unaware that downloading a song from Internet or getting songs filled up from a mobile retailer for a small price in your micro SD card is unlawful and wrong!

Good to see some online sites like raaga.com and saregama.com selling individual songs for ten/twelve rupees but I was unaware of this, till yesterday!

raaga.com is selling songs in some windows protected DRM format where you can play songs only in windows media player and only in the PC that you download the license (along with a cell phone – perhaps only with windows media player too? and some restricted amount of CD burning). Even if you change some hardware components in your own PC’s, the license becomes void!! Needless to say, for people like me (who use Linux OS/VLC player), the songs do not get played! We appreciate your efforts to combat piracy with DRM’s and all, but with so many restrictions do you think its worth it? Common guys, allow people to pay and download MP3 directly or workaround a more flexible DRM policy. The other site saregama.com doesn’t even mention which format the songs are being sold!

So, what do you think? Is it possible to reduce music piracy in India? Any suggestions?

Destination Infinity

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8 Replies to “Ten suggestions to the Indian Music industry from a Music Lover”

  1. Piracy is just not in india it everywehre .. but if service providers and internet providers get together then things can change

    though i like the points u have put .. they might work … good points

    Bikram's

    Piracy and probably anything else requires an grass roots attitude change… People ought to be able to see what they might miss if they are not encouraging the artists and the record companies directly. Perhaps, if they start paying for the songs, they might get more talented artistes and better music and songs… Collective responsibility is very important and it should come from inside. Not much can be achieved through force.

  2. Piracy is difficult to stop. Music people should come out with Chart Busters and Top songs as you said because i m sure those will sell more than the normal ones. Not all songs in a movie are good and shedding out money for just one song isnt worth it. I dint know abt raaga. Thanks for that 🙂

    Something which is wrong can be stopped only if the people involved in it feel and understand that it is wrong. And more importantly, why it is wrong. If people accept that piracy is wrong, the first and the most difficult step to stopping piracy is already taken.

  3. 1. This is a good idea because I had bought some 60-70 cassettes and re-recorded some one or two songs from each cassette at home (old Hindi film songs), long back and hear these cassettes more than the original songs cassettes! Now, internet is helping to download whatever we want, but the royalty doesn't go to the people who worked for recording such beautiful songs.

    3. Yes, they can charge a nominal amount per song.

    9. This is a good idea.

    My son gets songs from raaga.com, it seems and he is happy about the site.

    Like we read about English top 10 list, it would be nice to know about top 10 movie songs per month and they can 'sell' it online too.

    vimmuuu is listing good songs once in a couple of months and his list seems to be good! And he creates list from 3-4 languages (films)!

    Will somebody read this post of yours and try to do something?

    I think, top movie songs is one category, they could also feature top carnatic songs, top ghazals, top hindustani musicals etc. This would give more exposure…

  4. heard of sangeethapriya.org ? check it out…has free downloads of concerts.

    I listen to songs in youtube or download them..according to me, companies should use the distribution power of torrents etc to make money.

    Official peer to peer distribution is a good idea! But it may work for promotional reasons, not sure how ppl can make money through that. Like how major bands themselves put official youtube videos of their music for promotion…

  5. Good suggestions. I think to stop piracy what India needs is a good enforcement. There are bodies like PPL and IPRS but still the enforcement seems to be poor. You mentioned raaga.com, but that is illegal as well. How can sites like this survive despite of the PPLs. With enforcement will come the realization that you cannot do anything and everything and get away with it.
    I would also like to add to your suggestions of ready availability of songs. I think what we Indians also need is a music service which serves you songs in a way as to bring out the beauty of Indian songs of all ages. I know this would be a huge effort but would be worth it…Let’s wait till this is realized..

    1. It is mentioned in their site (raaga) that they are selling songs legally. Perhaps, the online radio part might not be official, I guess. In other countries, online radio pays to the artist (per thousand streams or something).

      Actually, the DD channels were doing a good job of giving exposure to some variety of classical music songs… With the commercial media (both TV and Radio), only the latest songs are played – I guess for advertisement value! We also have such good movies but most of the private channels are ignoring them. How I wish I could go back to those DD days… 🙂

      Destination Infinity

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