In a new bid to control music piracy, the South Indian Music Companies Association (SIMCA) has joined hands with the South India Digital Music Management Private Ltd to launch a Chennai-based company called “Cell Muzik”, reports IBNLive. According to the report, Cell Muzik will be authorized to issue licenses to cellphone retail outlets who intend to sell music and also take necessary action against offending retail outlets who create and distribute pirated music. The company seems to have set up a separate division consisting of retired police officers for this purpose.
Piracy at Mobile Stores? SIMCA general secretary J Sreedhar stated that they have found several mobile stores which sell pirated music to their customers by copying it to the phone’s memory card for a specific price, thereby causing a huge revenue decline through CD sales. It is not uncommon for mobile retailers to side load paid apps and music for a paltry sum as an incentive. Cell Muzik aims to legalize this activity by issuing licenses to these mobile stores at Rs 15,000 to Rs. 24,000 per annum.
Content: Cell Muzik claims to have rights for around 60% of Tamil and Malayalam songs spread across film, devotional, folk and classical music genres as noted by The Hindu.
Our Take: This seems to be a good initiative on paper since piracy at mobile phone retail outlets is pretty rampant. This initiative will also create an additional revenue stream for the South Indian music industry. It will also allow interested outlets to legally sell music in their store by acquiring licenses from CellMuzik. However, we are pretty skeptical whether this approach will really work in real world terms. For instance, physical retailing of apps has been around for quite sometime but it doesn’t seem to have really taken off. And, with the wide spread availability of free pirated music on the internet, not everyone would be willing to pay for it.