Sunday, June 14, 2015

Karlo Duniya Mutthi Mein - Part 2

When I bought my first CD Writer, it cost me a whopping Rs.16000. Again, when I bought my first DVD Writer, it cost me Rs.8000/-. The cost of blank CDs used to be about Rs.125/- when CD Writers came into the hardware market. The blank DVDs used to cost about Rs.50/- for the 4.3 GB capacity.

What is a CD or a DVD? A piece of plastic? Today they are cheap, and if you buy in bulk, you may get CDs/DVDs for as low as Rs.5. Then why do the audio and video DVDs and VCDs cost more than a 100 bucks? Since I was in the business of content creation, I do know that it is not the blank CDs or DVDs, but the content that goes into them. I also understand the distress of original content developers when they see their content getting pirated. But more about piracy and media economics in another post on another day.

In March 2007, when the MRP of movie CDs and DVDs were above Rs.100 at least, Moser Baer launched 101 film titles. The cost of VCDs was Rs.28, and that of DVDs was Rs.34! This was quite revolutionary. Though most titles in the collection were of older films, there were many which I had heard or read of, but never had a chance to see. I remember, I got a good scolding from my wife, when one day, I picked up 20 DVDs to watch. Frankly, I have still not watched 3 of them yet!

But this move was revolutionary. The market penetration was well planned, with about 100000 outlets. A very important thing happened. Instead of trying to watch movies online on slow network connections, people started to buy movies. The revenues started flowing back into the movie industry through Moser Baer. The Moser Baer DVDs cheaper even now. But what is significant is that people understood that the cost of DVDs is actually so low, and they were paying a premium for even lousy movies. Just look at the mathematics - you have to pay about 60 to 100 bucks even to get a movie on rent. Instead, why now own a DVD?

Well, just a short story today, but Moser Baer's move into the entertainment market through DVDs was certainly a game changer. Enjoy your remaining weekend.