/// Pirates and Profits: Three Reasons Why the Music Biz Can Finally Get Excited About India’s Billion-Sized Audience
Digital distribution has made huge changes to India’s music industry. Until very recently, India reached only a small fraction of its profit potential due to the limitations of physical distribution and rampant piracy. Seeing the Indian digital music scene as a haven for illegal download sites, brands kept themselves — and their advertising dollars — far, far away. A lack of broadband penetration in Indian homes made the switch to the download option even less profitable — no one can buy your product if no one can access it! So, while the rest of the world helped make iTunes the largest music store in the world, the Indian music industry waited for its moment, and that moment is finally here. Here’s why: 3G expands consumer audience by 100 million listeners Until now, most Indians have not had access to high-speed Internet or a PC. The wired broadband penetration of India stands at about 13 million subscriptions — which is a pittance, especially when you consider that this includes offices, cyber cafés and the like; and including institutions, there are only 50 million PCs in the country. Very few Indians have broadband or a PC of their own; this renders the historical paid download model (to a desktop or to a PC-tethered mp3 player) unscalable. Despite the lack of broadband and PC penetration, there are currently 121 million Internet users in India. Guess where they are? Mobile.