| 24 Feb 2024
Vinod Bhanushali - Retail therapy

It may come as a surprise, but the physical sales of cassettes and CDs has seen a slight upward swing in the recent past.

A few of the major reasons for the recent boost is the increase in the number of retail outlets, humongous promotion on television and various promotional activities with artist presence and performance on musical and reality shows. It is like a give and take relationship where our songs are played on reality shows, which in turn promotes our music, film and artistes, whereas the channels get their TRPs.

Another reason for the sales to climb upwards is the acceptance of new techniques in sound. The significance of music in the day to day lives of people is growing. Also, films are made on a much larger scale these days that people get enamored by the picturisations of the songs and long to buy the record.

Five years ago, the physical format was in great demand and did wonderful business. I don't think history will repeat anytime soon but nevertheless we can hope for the best. A publisher has found new avenues of monetizing the IPR to sustain and grow in the business of music, and thus has varied options available as on today.

The drop in physical sales has been mainly because of the changes in technology. Digital is the 'in-thing' and people want to keep up with the trends. People have the option of mobile downloads and listening to music on radio. Since they have different formats at their disposal in this digital age, a marginal population wants to go out and buy CDs and cassettes. It's a demand and supply game at the end of the day. If one wants to listen to a particular song, it is not necessary that radio will play it at that particular time. Therefore, at times people prefer buying a CD and storing it.

Distribution is the key as far as physical sales are concerned. The idea is to cover the geographical area in the best given time. Physical sales have to be looked at in two ways. Firstly, a well planned promotional activity of a particular album will help the consumer to buy it. Secondly, the CDs will have to be made available to the customers. For this, the infrastructure and dealer network is of utmost importance. "Retail" is reaching the customers at the right time and right place. The marketing teams of music labels have to set a level for themselves, the target audience has to be clearly defined. Every album has its own essentials; hence a lot of research goes into its evolution and marketing. When we feel the music of a particular film can be a superhit, we present, market and distribute the product in such a way that it provokes the consumer to go ahead and buy it thus achieving numbers.

Piracy is there and will linger on for sometime now. It is all about the buying power of the population, things will change with time.


Vinod Bhanushali is President - Marketing Media Publishing (TV), T-Series