Digital Music distribution company Hungama is in the process of launching an online music store, which will allow unlimited music downloads. The site Hungama.com, appears to be in closed beta, and is inviting “a select few” to sign up to get access to the service. It’s indicated that over 100,000 songs will be available for download. (via, anonymous tip-off)
At the time of filing this story, Siddhartha Roy, COO (Digital & Allied Businesses) at Hungama could not be reached. A Hungama spokesperson declined comment, saying that the company is not ready to talk about the plans at present.
The site appears to be similar to the music store that the company had launched with BSNL earlier this year, which had over 50,000 songs, and the download service priced at Rs. 149/month for access to songs, and casual games at Rs. 49/month. The content for that BSNL portal was DRM protected, and we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s also the case with Hungama’s own portal. As Steve Jobs had once famously mentioned, DRM is the mandate of music labels. For Apple, the iTunes Store helps sells iPods, in case of Hungama, there is likely to be a revenue share. The DRM protected music store may do it’s bit in helping sure up revenues for music labels – a subscription model is a gamble, but we feel it is the right move, though content is still available for download on the web, and DRM free. Eventually, DRM will have to go. We wonder if there’s going to be a mobile related component to Hungama store: Music on the PC is fine, but the base will be limited if it isn’t portable. Maybe a dual delivery model?
More when we hear back from Hungama.