RadioandMusic
| 15 Apr 2021
Samir D Khandwala: "Major cause of piracy is the inaccessibility of content"

With rights of over 5,000 music titles, iMusti.com an online music portal delivers high quality Indian music content across multiple genres and languages. Extending their reach to smart devices, the portal has signed an agreement with Samsung India to develop video applications for Smart TV consumers.

In a conversation with Radioandmusic.com’s Swagata Panjari, iMusti Inc founder & CEO Samir D Khandwala discusses about the evolution of digital music since its inception and the road ahead. Khandawala also shares his thoughts on the burgeoning demand of digital music and the upcoming smart device platform.

Excerpts:

Tell us about iMusti.com?

iMusti is the fastest-growing service in India  and has acquired large content of Indian music and video which is offered on diverse technological  platforms including websites, mobile phone and tablets.  Members can browse or search entire catalogue and choose their favourite number in interactive and non-interactive forms.  Apart from listening to music, users can also download their favourite songs for a small cost or purchase the entire album in high-quality digital format.

The site has recently signed a deal with Samsung which will enable iMusti service to be streamed on television as well. The main goal of the site is to provide encouraging and entertaining content to the users through every available medium.

How has the company progressed over the years?

iMusti has been in the market for five years now and our services have matured in the past two years. The major development has taken place due to the digital revolution and easy availability of user-friendly smartphone. The digital fruition has enabled consumers to utilize device for entertainment, they don’t just listen to music but can also stream video or movies due to easy access through apps.

How is the content segregation on the site? Which genre attracts more downloads?

We haven’t paid much attention on downloads, currently the site focuses on live streaming of music and video which is in huge demand across the world. The segregation is difficult for now as it’s hard to say which genre attracts more hits but regional, devotional and classical music are more in demand.

Why doesn’t iMusti offer international music?

India has rich heritage and cultural content. We regretted the fact that non-resident Indians hardly have access to films and music of their country. As India has vast content it’s difficult to concentrate on international categories. But the site hasn’t avoided international music completely. At some point we would formulate a deal with international labels but it will happen once we are done with the Indian content.

How many content partners are you working with right now?

We have partnered with major labels of the country like Times Music and Universal amongst others for music and video content. We are working with content providers in India, USA and other parts of the world to acquire quality content for our subscribers.  The site is targeted specifically to the people of Indian origin so our customers are scattered in all parts of the globe.

How do you monetize revenues?

iMusti has a subscribtion and transaction based module. The site allows users to access audio through the subscribtion module and video streaming through the transaction module wherein they have to pay first for the accessibility.

What are the measures taken by the site to prevent piracy?

According to us the major cause of piracy is the inaccessibility of content, so we try to provide high quality content at an affordable price with easy availability. We offer more choice of content with safe applications to the consumers so their devices are safe unlike the pirated sites wherein the threat of virus is a great issue.

Where do you see digital music in next five years?

Digital industry has been evolving in greater space and listeners are now adapting to the changing trends. Since our inception in 2007, the scenario has changed with the penetration of smartphone devices in the Indian market. If the accessibility of smart devices in India is 30 per cent than in near future the availability is ought to multiply. The boom will ultimately affect user consumption, streaming will be high in demand as it is easy to manage than physical format.

Have you partnered with any services for mobile content?

We have applications for iOS, Android and Samsung Smart TV platforms. We are also planning to launch Windows Mobile application this year. We are also in talks to integrate our services with various carriers in USA and other parts of the world.

How successful are the mobile apps?

The app is reaching to its height with the easy availability of the smartphone devices. As downloads have become difficult to manage in the long run, customers prefer to stream rather than download.

Tell us about the recently launched iMusti Radio ?

iMusti Radio is one such app which is based on interactive and non-interactive programming. It features back to back streaming of songs from various genres like bollywood, regional, classical and more.

What was the idea behind iMusti’s partnership with Samsung India for its Smart TV apps?

Samsung Smart TV is widely recognized across the globe and through this partnership we have got access to those customers. The partnership has enabled our content to be available on all Samsung platforms and helped us to penetrate into the popular video market through which we are receiving a great response.

Partnership with social networking sites like facebook is quite trending on digital front. How are you planning to explore this platform?

All the iMusti apps are connected with social media, if the listener is using iMusti app than he is automatically directed to all social networking sites.

Which other initiatives and services are planned for the year ahead?

We are planning to offer new user-friendly services and apps with improved functionality and exciting features for this year. iMusti is also setting up partnerships with telecommunication companies, ISPs, media companies to use their technology for delivery and distribution. The site is looking forward to develop 12 more applications within the next one year.