BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 11:13 GMT 12:13 UK
India's music industry perks up
Bollywood actress Booja Bhatt during filming
Music was a money spinner for Bollywood films

After a decade-long dream run of impressive growth, the economic slowdown has finally caught up with India's half-a-billion-dollar music industry.


Prices went haywire because of multinationals entering into the business

Ramesh Taurani
Tips music company
For almost two years music sales have been depressed and some big music companies have been forced to close.

The slowdown is also affecting the fortunes of the film industry in Bollywood which is heavily dependent on music.

To beat the recession blues Indian music firms have dramatically slashed the prices of CDs and cassettes - and the new strategy appears to be starting to pay off.

Boom times

Song and dance numbers are an essential ingredient of commercial Indian cinema and also the financial backbone of the film industry.

Compact disc
Some CD prices have been cut nearly 200%
Until last year the entire production cost of many a Bollywood film was recovered just by the sale of its audio rights, with rival music companies outbidding each other to get the best songs.

Sometimes it meant musicians received huge sums of money but with the industry clocking a 20% growth rate through the 1990s, nobody really cared.

But the boom times are a thing of the past.

Bollywood soundtracks

Ramesh Taurani, managing director of Tips music company, said increased competition pushed prices up.

"Prices went haywire because of multinationals entering into the business and they thought that we must buy the picture on any rate," he said.

Mr Taurani also blamed increased piracy through the internet and falling quality of products.

"All big producers [and] directors have not given the quality pictures quality music," he said.

Prices slashed

India's best known music store, Planet M, gets about 15,000 visitors a week but not all of them end up buying music.

This is despite the fact that most music companies have slashed CD prices in the past year.

Cassette prices have also come down by half in many cases to less than one dollar for a tape.

However, the worst may be over for the music industry, according to Ajay Mehra who runs the Planet M chain of stores across the country.

He said business has started improving in the last two months and the crowds have been returning.

"[The] industry will get perked up if commercially viable projects are made in terms of film music," he said.

"I think all this will add to making music sales much bigger."

But for the industry fortunes to really look up, what is needed is top-class music and a blockbuster of a musical release.

And so far, that's not happening.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Sanjeev Srivastava in Bombay
"Cassette prices have come down by half in many cases"
See also:

19 Apr 02 | South Asia
19 Oct 01 | South Asia
03 Aug 00 | South Asia
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes