In what is a welcome move, and something we hope to see other music labels emulate, Saregama India has launched a “Song Selector” service, for making B2B licensing of music easier for brands. The B2B tool, which targets advertising agencies, film production houses and the TV industry, allows users to search from over 117,000 songs in Saregama’s catalogue, based on situations, moods, singers, composers and singers.
While Saregama MD, Vikram Mehra has said that “Single License Window which will ensure all our partners an easy process of selecting songs from our vast repertoire”, it isn’t a “Single License Window” yet. We checked* and businesses can only select songs, and fill up a form to contact Saregama for licensing, and there is no direct licensing that can be done via the platform.
Thus, while the tool will make life easier for businesses looking to discover music for licensing, they will still have to negotiate each deal individually with Saregama.
This reminds us of something that former Saregama MD Apurv Nagpal once told us:.
If there is one thing that I can tell you about the industry, and this is different from FMCG, is that every deal is different. We cannot have a standard contract and standard way of operating because there are different considerations. We don’t have a one size fits all approach.
What’s the ideal situation? Music Labels should become Music Operators
Well, when Dhingana had shut down, we’d shared what we believe is the ideal scenario, in order to allow legal music to be made more easily to consumers:
1. Make the entire catalog available for licensing
2. Allow everyone to license music. Statements such as “why should I let any fly-by-night operator come and take my music?” are myopic, because we’re moving into a paradigm of unlimited supply of content, and music is just one option. Restricting supply will force users to either pirate, or to choose those options which are more easily available.
3. Standardize licensing agreements and reduce complexity for buyers
4. Simplify billing processes: adopt a prepaid system for usage of services. Set up the black box (remember Mime360?), allow anybody to come and deposit money, and license music.
Make licensing frictionless – no negotiations, no minimum guarantees. Put money in, and license a standard number of streams. Choose a different option, and license music downloads for your store. Fight piracy by getting rid of the friction that prevents consumers from consuming music.
*Note: Songs mentioned in the form above are only selected for checking the site, and are by no means indicative of my music preferences.