Archives For paid music

Vodafone Music Station - Mobile Music (Paid Service)

Did any of you see this? If you are in India, it is hard to miss it. Vodafone has got TV spots, newspaper ads, billboards, flyers for their new Vodafone Music Station. The idea is users can call in and listen to music on the Vodafone network. They boast of a collection of 40,000 songs (in all languages together).

The TV ad, I think, is a good idea but it really gets to you because it seems to be shown in every ad break on literally every channel and it is no fun to listen to the first line of the same song over and over again. Add to that, when you think of the absolute uselessness of the service, it just makes me wonder if Vodafone could not come up with something better.

Ok, here’s what they offer. If you have a Vodafone connection in India, you activate the service paying Rs. 50/-. Then you can listen to these 40k songs paying Rs. 0.30 per minute. Here’s my calculation:

Average duration of a song: 4 mins.
Cost of 1 min: 30 paise
Cost for full song: 4 x 0.30 = Rs. 1.20
I listen to around 30-40 songs every day, if not more. So even if I limit myself to 20 songs, I would have to pay Rs. 1.20 x 20 = Rs. 24 every day.
i.e. Rs. 24 x 30 = Rs. 720 /month (plus Rs. 50 monthly subscription = Rs. 770)
Rs. 770 x 12 = Rs. 9240 /year.

So average cost of one song is (Rs. (1.20 x 30) x 12) = Rs. 432, considering if I were to listen to it every day for the whole year. The cost of a music CD in India (with ownership) is around Rs. 300 – 500 for English albums. Regional music is far more affordable (Rs. 60 – 250). If you still use cassettes, costs come further down.

And in this age of iPods and portable music players in cell phones, what is Vodafone really trying to do here? I put this point to Vodafone support and they said that this service can be used by people who do not have access to iPods or mobile phones without music player. But can the people who can’t afford an iPod really afford the Vodafone Music Station service?

The way Vodafone is advertising this service, you think this will be next biggest thing after the iPhone. But I just don’t get it and I want to know if Vodafone got any serious users to this service other than those curious testers. But even for that, they have set up an entry barrier of Rs. 50 as monthly subscription.