Sony Music India or SMI, is a solely retained subsidiary of SME, Sony Music Entertainment. The company initiated set-up in India from 1996 to 1997 in order to market both international and national music titles in India. Because of its success and use of state-of-the-art technologies, SMI has become one of the most advanced music companies India. Customers value the added services SMI offers especially if they decide to launch a digital platform for their music and other projects. India has already experienced a boost in sales thanks to the growing E-commerce in the country. The music industry overseas with iTunes and SoundCloud provide consumers with a variety of choices for music making companies like SMI feel a need to compete and therefore generate their own presence within the music industry. Therefore SMI began an "e-initiative" that enabled music lovers along with other users to visit the website, www.sonymusicindia.com, to allow consumers access to information, interact with customer service and purchase music online. Essentially SMI generated a platform for personnel to manage the cyber-mall through an internet-based management section. Fragmentation leads to lesser roles for the recording company and issues in how to distribute music. Music streaming and E-commerce sites paved the way for how consumers presently by and consume music and entertainment. Sony, a company that own a quarter to a third of the segment in the mobile music market, saw a big chance to construct the next stage in their international music business. "It appeared that the best way to shape the highly fragmented market was to create a compelling product strategy and develop the business" (Mani, 2013, p. 1).
SMI began development for E-commerce application through use of Microsoft Commerce Server 2000. "The architecture incorporates the 'n-tier' technology which enables the system to seamlessly integrate and interoperate between heterogeneous systems" (Sony Music India, 2014). Use of such technology made the design reliable, scalable, and entirely automated system to deliver smooth and seamless order processing. The E-commerce initiative offered key features like secured online buying, order processing and management, catalog management, site administration, and listening post. The other technology used in this endeavor was ASP with SQL server 2000.
Going further into the key features of the E-commerce initiative, secured online buying meant that customers could safely use their credit card online as a form of payment through incorporation alongside a payment access. Order processing and management is integrated within the site through use of a third party agency to assist in order fulfillment. "All orders placed on the web site are routed to the order fulfillment agency and once the orders have been dispatched the same is updated on the website" (Sony Music India, 2014).
Along with secured form of payment and order processing, the catalog management system allows SMI to continually update their catalog of music and entertainment titles. It also allows updates in any place at any time. The system is designed so SMI can update according to inventory availability through means of simply batch upload using a flat file. The administration module then checks stock availability, order processing, and keeps track of everything happening within the site. Examples of this are: "the albums that should be displayed on the Home Page and the priority of these items, the banners that should be displayed, etc." (Sony Music India, 2014).
Integration of a listening posts assists users by offering them a chance to listen to music before purchase. The options are in both Hindi and international. This option helps consumers make informed decisions when purchasing music. It also prevents piracy because the site does not allow download of the music users listen to. It is a simple, yet effective means of controlling the information that runs on the website as well as service the customers that venture onto the website interested in new song titles.
Although an E-commerce website has already been integrated into SMI and has been for several years, there are still some hurdles to overcome if they are to match the level of advanced customer service and order processing that their competitors have overseas. The iTunes store, which is one of the leading digital entertainment platforms, has long been able to satisfy the needs of customers by branching out into television programs and movies. If SMI can integrate other things besides music into their E-commerce platform, they could possibly develop more demand within Indian consumers and even reach international customers.
Economics of the Indian Music Industry
Technology in recent years has created a shift in the music industry. Some of that has gone on to show in places like India where traditionally music was bought and sold without the use of digital platforms. CDs and tapes have gone down in sales while sales in digital platforms have increased. The digital platform that runs in India currently is through the telecom ...
Evolution of the Music Industry and Sony's Response
Indian music has a rich history that goes back hundreds of years. The first instance of recorded music in India started in 1901. EMI Music, a London-based company, first entered the Indian market through founding the Gramophone Company of India Limited which still exists today under a new name, Saregama. Within 15 years, it grew to have over 75 brands and record labels within the Indian market. Presently, very few managed to survive the onslaught of new technology, music centered monopolies and now, digital platforms.
The Indian music scene in the 1960's was overrun by the monopoly generated through mergers with GCI and any music available in India at that time came from Hindi cinema, records, and radio. Hindi films became the main platform to sell and distribute music. In fact, the recording industry bought the rights of movies from film producers in order to control the sale of records in the country. In the 1970's however, the control increased, allowing formation of a business oligopoly consisting of prominent music film directors and GCI. That was to end however in the 9180's with the financial liberalization policies first introduced in 1978.
Indian music experienced increased competition and cost of producing music decreased. "With the low cost of production, many new players entered the market and piracy became widespread" (Mani, 2013, p. 2). Even though the power of GCI and other big players decreased, piracy effected to some extent the level of profits within the Indian music industry. In order to compete and increase sales within the 80's era, use of television and radio to market music caught on and became a main marketing platform.
The 90's brought with it CDs or compact discs and increased promotion through television. The new millennium and its ever increasing online platform enabled use of digital music libraries and E-commerce websites and online stores that people could purchase songs from, from any artist or genre. In order to compete with the existing digital platform of its other competitor's SMI had to create its own E-commerce website as shown in the earlier section.
Sony Indian Music, much like its predecessors had to learn to redevelop and strategize in order to fit the needs of its newest consumers. Using a website to preview and make available national and international titles was a great step for SMI towards branching out into the new form of music. With it the company is able to appeal to the latest consumers as well as provide some form of revenue for its already existing artists and music.
Instead of deciding to go against the new wave of online music and digital platforms, SMI has decided to ride the wave. They in essence are doing what their Western parent company are in order to avoid piracy, appeal to new customers, and continue the expansion of Sony music in India. "Digital music was being monetized using two main consumption models: ownership and access. In the ownership or download environment, consumers purchased an album or a track that could be downloaded a limited number of times and stored…" (Mani, 2013, p. 4). However, Sony needs to compete not just in the E-commerce sense, but also make music more readily available in app form through the App market. Smart phones are the latest ways people are accessing music, downloading and streaming through their tablets and mobile devices. For SMI to truly to compete and exist similarly to their Western counterparts, they must include this upgrade in technology and distribution and avoid external competition from independent artists. "It has become so much cheaper and easier for independent artists to record and release their own material out of their garage. The marginal cost of producing a song is almost negligible, which is…
Fragmentation leads to lesser roles for the recording company and issues in how to distribute music. Music streaming and E-commerce sites paved the way for how consumers presently by and consume music and entertainment. Sony, a company that own a quarter to a third of the segment in the mobile music market, saw a big chance to construct the next stage in their international music business. "It appeared that the best way to shape the highly fragmented market was to create a compelling product strategy and develop the business" (Mani, 2013, p. 1).
A high rate of turnover may indicate too strict credit policies or an inability to extend credit. It is the tradeoff between sales and tying up funds in receivables. Sales to Working Capital - measures the relationship between sales and the working capital of a business. Too high a ratio may indicate an insufficient amount of working capital. Too low a ratio may indicate unproductive assets. Sales to Total Assets -
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