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After launching its online store, Saregama ties up with Hungama to offer music

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Digital entertainment company Hungama has tied up with Saregama to add over 100 playlists and over 25 radio stations to different eras, musicians, composers and artists. Additionally, the platform will make available various devotional songs as well as regional music through this tie up.

The initiative will also include 7 live radio stations broadcasted over Hungama named Bollywood Classics, Love Classics, Retro Upbeat to 70’s Black & White Classics, RD Burman and Kishore Kumar etc. Hungama will also introduce ‘Timeless Tuesdays’ when it will play only retro Bollywood songs.

Saregama turning digital:

Last week the company launched an online music store where users can pay and download songs. This library consisted of 1.1 lakh songs in 14 languages and could be downloaded at Rs 9 per song after sampling it for free. The company said it was working on launching a service next month where users would be able to download uncompressed files at an extra cost. It is also planning to add an app for sampling and downloading, to be launched next month. This tie-up with Hungama might help the company drive more users to its own service.

In April last year, Saregama signed a partnership with international digital distribution company Believe Digital, which was supposed to help the digital distribution of Saregama’s music catalogue across different languages and genres, in international markets especially with the Indian diaspora. G. B. Aayeer, Director and CFO of Saregama, had said then that this partnership would focus on more international markets for Saregama’s music and other monetization opportunities.

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In August last year, Saregama appointed Vikram Mehra, Chief Commercial Officer at Tata Sky as its Managing Director of music label Saregama India. We’d reported then that Mehra had the unenviable task of transforming an old-world music label into a digital business. A move up the value chain is a key means of surviving the switch to digital. Mehra’s predecessor Surya Mantha had begun some of this: firstly, he rightly switched the focus of the company from physical sales to digital, so that Saregama would focus largely on digital rights, and brought in a team with experience with both digital and music: including his former colleagues Avinash Mudaliar and Keshaw Sinha.

Hungama tie-ups:

Hungama had added some Marvel and Disney movies to its catalog just last month. Users of Hungama would get access to movies like Iron Man 3, The Avengers, Ratatouille, The incredibles, Wall-E among others for a fee of Rs 75 for transactional video on demand (TVOD), Rs 149 (non-HD) for subscription video on demand (SVOD) and Rs 249 for HD SVOD.

In a similar deal in 2013, Hungama had partnered with Warner Bros Digital Distribution to let its users watch full length feature films like The  Departed, The Blind Side, The Dark Knight series, Tom & Jerry and Looney Tunes among others on Hungama Movies.

In June last year, Hungama rebranded its paid subscription service on its music and video streaming mobile app as PRO service and added new features to the service. This included a new offline mode and songs of higher bitrates of up to 320 Kbps.

Hungama Movies claims that they have over 5000 regional, Bollywood and Hollywood movies in HD and SD. Hungama claims to have over 2.5 million pieces of content in the form of music, movies, music videos, mobile ringtones and wallpapers across genres and languages.

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Other players in the same place:

– In February, Bharti Airtel’s music streaming application Wynk said that it has crossed five million downloads since its launch in September. Wynk features full track audio streaming, unlimited cache downloads, Mp3 purchase and caller ring back tone. Individual songs are sold at Rs 5. Wynk said that it had an HD catalogue of over 1.8 million Indian and International songs along with exclusive music previews from time-to-time under the Sony Music label.

– In January, Australian music streaming service Guvera, which had launched in India in November last year, claimed to have acquired over 2 million users in the country since its launch. Guvera is free and supported by advertisements, though users can also opt for the ad-free premium plan which cost Rs 199 per month.

– In the same month, US-based music streaming service Rdio had launched in India. Rdio had earlier acquired Dhingana to enter the Indian market in March last year.

– In December last year, Japanese mobile messaging service LINE acquired Microsoft’s MixRadio music streaming service for an undisclosed amount. Microsoft had inherited MixRadio as part of its Nokia devices and services business acquisition, earlier this year.

– In the same month, Vodafone India launched “Vodafone Music”, a Mobile Internet based music service powered by Hungama’s platform. The service had music and video free to stream (which means data charges would apply), and for download, available at Rs 3 for a single song, Rs 10 for 5 songs, and as a pack, at Rs.99 per month, Rs 29 per week and Rs 5 per day for unlimited downloads.

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– In July last year, Hungama rebranded its paid subscription service on its music and video streaming mobile app as PRO service and added new features including on offline mode and songs of higher bitrates of up to 320 Kbps. The offline mode allowed user to cache unlimited songs and videos to their phones for offline listening/viewing. Note that its competitors Saavn and Gaana also offer offline caching service to its subscribers, but was currently limited to music streaming.

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