Television

Saregama to open online music store

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MUMBAI: Move over Apple. Music label Saregama India is set to enter the online music market aimed entirely at the "generation on the go".

The company is expected to launch the beta version of its online service by the end of June, while the official launch is likely to happen in August, barring any glitches. However, the company is yet to zero in on the name of the service.

The new venture will be part of the listed entity Saregama India Ltd.

Confirming the news to indiantelevision.com, Saregama India VP publishing and new media Atul Churamani says, "Indeed we are marching towards the digital music revolution. We have already singed in 43 South Indian music labels."

Through Saregama online music service, songs can be downloaded to PC, copied to CD, mobile, played on a portable iPod or another digital instrument. The company will also make services and features available, including streaming videos, movies, television software, games and e-radio for purchase.

As music-buffs are hungry to get music from new convenient and flexible sources, Churamani further adds, "We are committed to make a huge music catalogue available online and are in talks with the bigges of the Bollywood industry also to share their music library."

Churamani, however, was not forthcoming on the revenue sharing model the company has established with its associates. For the initial period, Saregama will be deriving its revenues through the pay-per-song model (Rs 12/song), according to Churamani. As of now, Saragama has an online bank of 70,000 songs. The software for the new servive has been developed and powered by mobile2win.

Saregama India already runs a service HamaraCD.com, which provides an option of creating your own audio CDs of your favourite songs. The music company has a vast catalogue cutting across all genres and languages, includes film music, devotional, ghazals and classical music, Indi pop, remixes and regional songs.

Internationally, the service is already being provided most famously through Apple's iTunes. Napster and the recently launched Urge (a tie-up between MTV networks and Microsoft) are also in the online music game.

For India too, the digital music era is now close at hand.

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