Market Mentality : Responding To Consumers With Research
By Vikram Mehra
As a part of Creative First’s “Industry Spotlight” Series, Vikram Mehra, Managing Director of Saregama India and Lohita Sujith, Sr. Director, Digital Economy, Motion Picture Association discussed the evolution of music rights and distribution.
During the time when music was going digital, Saregama launched Carvaan, a portable music player with preloaded collections. Vikram explained that the decision was made after listening to the needs of customers. With this came the realization that older generations didn’t listen to music online out of a fear of being inadvertently charged. Carvaan solved the problem of accessibility for the tech-scared generation.
Mehra acknowledged that even when listening to the customer, a company can still occasionally get it wrong, as happened with the first execution of Carvaan Go, a travel-sized audio player. Due to customer research, Saregama added a speaker component to Carvaan Go, however, it was too low in volume. They resolved this issue, amongst others, with the Carvaan Go 2.0.
Mehra also spoke about Saregama’s partner program. He explained that anyone can become a partner by remixing or doing a cover of a song and putting it directly on Saregama’s Youtube channel. This has allowed for Saregama to discover amazing new talent.
As far as licensing goes, platforms make it a lot easier to take royalties. The major companies such as Instagram are very proactive about taking the right licenses and removing pirated content. Today, Saregama gets roughly 11 billion data points a month, that not only allows them to track consumer patterns, but also if they are being adequately paid for consumption of each IP. Mehra stated that piracy in India has come down drastically in the last six years. He attributed this to the transition from dot com to regulated apps.
One distinction, however, that Mehra made between visual and audio content is the issue of monetization. While most content apps rely on the free consumption-advertising economy, Mehra said music has the potential to rely on a subscription model. According to him, this can work at a price point of 29-49 rupees per month.
To hear further insights from Vikram Mehra, including Saregama’s direction with true-to-life cinema and NFT drops, please watch the full-length video.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, Saregama India Ltd. He is also the current Chairman of the Indian Music Industry, the apex body representing India’s recorded music industry. Prior to Saregama, he served in leadership roles as the Chief Commercial Officer at Tata Sky and Vice President at Star TV spearheading Star’s foray into DTH and cable services. Vikram is an Engineer in Computer Science & Technology from IIT Roorkee and holds a degree in management from IIM Lucknow.
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