Business of Music in India

…exploring the future…

Music sales – part 1:

I asked a music lover: when was it the last time he walked into a music store to buy a CD; he said “hmm…. Let me think. Maybe 2 years back?”

So does that mean he stopped listening to music after that? “Ofcourse not”, he said.
The Net came to his rescue… Better bandwidths, cheaper offers from ISPs have made it affordable for downloading ‘my kind of stuff’. Good.

But did he pay for the songs / albums he downloaded? “Ofcourse not!”, he said.

And why not? “Because there are some websites which allow me to download full songs at good quality. I listen to them on my PC, copy them to my phone also.”

So I asked him if he did not think this action of his was hurting the music industry as a whole. “Ofcourse not! They’re charging lakhs per song, earning from live shows, etc. So my spending or not spending Rs. 150 for a CD will not affect them in any way. They have no right to complain.”

Before I could wonder why people bother about who earns how much, he went on…. “And once I had to travel to a music shop in a mall to buy a CD (maybe he could not find online), I so desperately wanted . This cost me Rs. 40 by auto to the nearest mall. And then I ended up finding that the store did not have the CD I went there for. This was frustrating, plus a complete waste of time and money.”

So I finally asked him if he would ever buy an original disc? I think you know the answer.


Next topic: Is digital sales a better solution?

6 Responses to “ Music sales – part 1: ”

  1. Prashant Says:

    I am not sure what the answer is… will he buy or will he not ? If he is a passionate and ardent follower of someone, why not ? I would pay good money to ensure someone I admire stays in the business and produces good work. I also don’t want artists to compromise to meet their commercial needs. I hate the thought of seeing Javed Akhtar writing radio jingles or Amit Trivedi composing ringtones in order to make a living.

  2. Tapas Relia Says:

    I really don’t care about such people.
    Evolvement of technology has always been good AND bad for the world in any field.
    Music is no exception.

    Lets not forget that its an open world with different opinions/views/and outlooks.
    I know music industry professionals who have not bought an original audio CD in the last 10 years.
    They really can’t explain their act other saying the only escape line “I’m not spending on that crap!!??… My kids love it so I copied it”

    You really can’t change these people with awareness.
    You can’t stop piracy completely,
    But governments should at-least try and ban all illegal download sites and Torrent trackers.
    (eg: piratebay)
    With the help of ISP’s they should also start sue-ing consumers for download illegal copies.
    Sue a few and hammer it on media.
    Many similar cases… for eg:

    Just google for “Sued for Downloading Music”

    Screw ‘em downloaders !!


  3. Alok Punjani Says:

    This is one topic that will keep haunting all of us in the industry… Though music as compared to the film business is small.. both face the same threat.

    Apple’s DRM coded music did work.. but you can’t really stop the peer to peer networks now.. There is always a way out..

    This.. I feel is more of a moral decision an individual makes when he is about to be part of the PIRACY network..

    and dear Prashant.. Mr Trivedi’s songs earned more money as ringtones than what he has earned from his last two films…
    (source: T-series insider)
    and as of Javed saab.. there is always more or equal money in doing a jingle as compared to a film song..
    Judging a show.. is a different ball game all together.. (all the pun intended…)

    So dear producers, artists, engineers.. brace yourselves for a new breed of audience.. who will not pay to buy the music.. and the music companies would pocket all the royalties..

    Working Hard and having a part time venture seems to be the order of the coming days..

    Still hoping and looking forward for the best..

  4. Alok Punjani Says:

    Just an addition…

    Coldplay’s terrific new live album, LeftRightLeftRightLeft, is still available to download free from If you haven’t got hold of your copy yet, then we heartily recommend clicking here to get one (heck, even Pitchfork liked it!). The album will, of course, also be given away on CD to everybody attending Coldplay’s remaining shows this year (excluding festivals). If you’ve downloaded the live album already and feel suitably inspired to check out some more Coldplay music, then you can download Viva La Vida (and all of the band’s other albums) from your local iTunes store by clicking

  5. Sunny-Mohammad Sanour Says:

    I hardly think music will sell…Its kinda tough day by day..With digital players, recorders…Just aweful….

  6. Prashant Says:

    That maybe so Alok, but he is not forced to do that. As long as he keeps churning out hits like Dev D and Aamir, I am happy.