RPG group's music label HMV Saregama is working on a beta version of its online music store which comes as yet another legal online music store after Flipkart's Flyte, which was launched a couple of months ago (and is doing a small but neat business, more on that here).
Last we checked Saregama beta link has started redirecting to the Saregama home page (after a sneak preview by Medianama), but before it did so, we managed to catch a glimpse of it. Here's a quick look at how a content firm's product compares to an e-commerce firm's content vertical.
The first place where Flyte scores is the whole look and feel of the website which will make a user stay or leave in the first few minutes. The whole user interface of Saregama is quite old school which we found less than appealing. Users can also have a hard time finding a particular song, unlike Flipkart where it is a breeze.
Secondly, Flyte offers music in more international languages (the target audience expands for Flyte even as its songs can be downloaded only in India as of now) whereas Saregama offers only Indian and local regional music.
Flipkart also offers a wallet system for payment which could be crucial for micropayments such as a single song or a few songs. Saregama has the regular payment mechanism of credit cards though we couldn't pursue it further as some of the links on the site were inoperational (its beta version after all).
On the pricing part, singles are priced at Rs 6 and above at Flyte while it starts at Rs 9.95 at Saregama. Other than that Saregama also plans to offer subscription packages with a fixed number of downloads within a period (this is innovative).
Saregama's most basic package is pegged at Rs 99/year for 12 songs. Saregama has also priced the songs in the brackets of minutes and genre of songs (honestly, that can get a little confusing for the users if you ask us).
However, one area where Saregama might score is its feature of getting customised CDs delivered at your doorstep (atleast that is what it says) it pegs the pricing of customised CDs at Rs 275 for 76 minutes or 15 songs on an audio CD and Rs 199 for 200 minutes or 40 songs on an MP3 CD. This could be powered by the group's existing portal HamaraCD which has been operational for over a decade now.
At the same time the core proposition is its own content library which gives a huge catalogue especially for old Hindi music. The question is will Saregama be able to capitalise on it against a formidable competition from a specialist e-tailer?