If you visit Landmark’s site, it appears they’ve outsourced online sales and distribution to Sify – most of the links lead to Sify Shopping. If Landmark goes solo, that’ll be a significant loss for Sify, since books and music are two of the key products bought online.
What’s interesting is that they’re planning to set up a music store, where users can buy single tracks after sampling online, and also enable users to pause and resume downloads. According to the source based report, the group will set up a separate online venture, and is in talks for online retail rights for music.
Now online retail of music is not new in India, but it’s hardly anything to write home about – it’s been attempted in the past by Soundbuzz (now owned by Motorola), MotoMusic (powered by Soundbuzz) and music label Saregama. I just checked, and Saregama‘s site is currently down for maintenance, while their CD retail website – HamaraCD – doesn’t load. Who uses these sites anyway? The problem for most of the retailers is the piracy rampant online – does a user download the music, easily available at a consistent speed, from bittorrent, or a site like Saregama.
The other key issue is the pricing – songs are for around Rs. 12-15 each, and yet are DRM protected which means buyers can port them only to a limited number of devices (usually 1-3 devices). Why bother?