RadioandMusic
| 22 Oct 2020
Vikram Mehra: We plan to introduce niche genres at the right time

As part of further strengthening its digital offering through its existing catalogue, Indian’s oldest label launched a new app- Saregama Classical, which will cater to classical music lovers. The app was made available from 13 September on Google Play Store. iOS users can also enjoy the app, which has music by over 400 artists and more than 50 dedicated radio stations. The app also allows users to download their favorite songs offline.

In an interview with Radioandmusic.com, Saregama, MD, Vikram Mehra talks about the new app, marketing plans, their future aspirations and more.

What is the USP of this app?

The biggest USP of this app is the presentation of classical music with the presence of 400 artistes and 50 dedicated stations for the most popular ones.

What was the reason for launching Saregama Classical, and how long did it take to develop it? Is this an in-house app?

The idea came earlier this year, in January. At the time, we were not looking for a classical music app, we were conducting a research to find what was lacking even with the availability of so many OTT music applications. Apart from many other things we heard, we found that people were into niche areas, and classical music was one of them. Since there is a dominance of film music, it is very difficult for users to get the content that they want. This is when we came up with the idea of having an app that will be dedicated to one space. Fans of stalwarts like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Jasraj and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, are looking for music by them, which is why we have now introduced 50 dedicated radio stations that will play this music 24x7. The app will be ad free. The entire design and functioning of the app is decided by Saregama, but we have worked with Robosoft Technologies on the coding.

How you plan to attract traction to the app?

We are reaching out to communities all over and making people aware that such a product is available in the market. We are confident that once someone downloads the app, they will want to stay with it.

How you plan to promote the app?

We are planning to use digital and television. We are using a lot of offline stuff and doing a lot of below the line activities to promote the Saregama Classical app.

Will you be launching many other apps?

Yes, we are working on. We plan to introduce niche genres at the right time.

Is this year for Saregama to outshine other labels without acquiring big budget film music?

We will make announcements at the right time regarding new music acquisitions. Which other company can launch a classical app? Nobody can really copy us. We are competing with ourselves, and we can only out-do ourselves. If we have a failure, it will be not creating awareness about this app in the country.

What do labels in India fail to promote?

There are a lot of things that labels do not promote, and I would not want my insights revealed.

How has the traction been for Saregama’s website and song selectors? Any deals with production happening there?

Saregama’s website is getting more traction outside India, and less for mp3 files and more for original wav files. This is probably because someone sitting with a high end system would not want to play pirated files. They would want original uncompressed files. More than deals, it is individual users who buy it.