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Saregama Carvaan sales plummet amid pandemic; company slashes marketing, manpower

Music label and film production company Saregama's Carvaan physical music player suffered as the lockdown almost completely halted physical retail sales. Even with e-commerce platforms coming back on track later in Q1FY21, only 15,000 units of Carvaan were sold, compared to 198,000 units in Q3FY20 and 74,000 in Q4FY20. [caption id="attachment_219294" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Source: Saregama[/caption] The company said it heavily cut marketing and personnel costs for Carvaan, though it did not specify how much was saved in this exercise — Saregama Managing Director Vikram Mehra said Monday in the company's earnings call for the quarter that marketing for Carvaan in the coming months would be near-zero, and that the company would bank on "natural pull", i.e. demand from customers, to bring the device's sales numbers back to normal. Mehra said that only media buying agencies and external PR firms have not been cut from the company's books, and that too only on a retainer basis. He added that spending on marketing for Carvaan would be too risky for the company, especially if restrictions on retail stores return. Movie, TV production comes to total halt Production stalls amid pandemic: Mehra said that the company's bottom line was helped by the fact that it had no production costs this quarter due to COVID-19 driven shutdowns of production. Saregama's film and TV business is a small percentage of its income, and its revenue still comes largely from licensing music. Saregama's deals with Spotify and Facebook were finalised in this quarter, so that contributed to…

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