Saregama has released a ‘premium’ version of its Carvaan music player that comes pre-loaded with old Indian songs. Saregama said it would release a premium version in an earnings call a few months ago to entice more customers during the festival season. Even as much of the music listening experience moves online to platforms like YouTube and music streaming apps like Gaana and Saavn, Saregama managed a sleeper hit with Carvaan. It is the first significant product the company — which is primarily a music label and production house — has offered directly to consumers.

The premium version of Carvaan will have a companion app that lets users play songs from the device on demand (as opposed to randomly looping songs based on singer or category).

Carvaan sales

In Q4 2017–18, Carvaan sold 387,000 units on its one year anniversary, exceeding expectations by 40%. In Q1 2018–19, Saregama had crossed the half-million mark, with a gross margin in the most recent quarter of 23%. These numbers include Carvaan Mini, a smaller, more portable version of the device.

Quarter Units sold Gross margin
Q1 FY 2017–18 14,000 17%
Q2 FY 2017–18 95,000 19%
Q3 FY 2017–18 132,000 20%
Q4 FY 2017–18 147,000* 22%
Q1 FY 2018–19 164,000 23%
Total FY 18
5,51,000 ~20.2%

 

The device has launched in Marathi, Bengali, and Tamil as well.

Vikram Mehra, Saregama’s Managing Director, said in the most recent earnings call, “The good part is […] that as the volumes are going up, they are not coming at the cost of margins… and the scale is still not very big. 164,000 [unit sales] is a very nice number, looking at where we were maybe a year back, but on an overall basis, we still believe it is not a large enough number.

We can scale it up much more, but even with that growth in number we are able to improve our gross margins, which are as committed to you in the last call that we will show further improvement this year and by the end of the year, I had projected a number of 24% to 25%. We have already touched 23%, which means within a year from 17% gross margins, we have gone up to 23% gross margin, which for us is a very, very comforting part.”