Why People Don’t Buy CDs in Pakistan – Part II

April 22, 2010

Earlier we had written a post on why people don’t buy CDs in Pakistan which in my opinion was a limited analysis since it was mostly based on a user driven poll which had limited answers.

Recently there was an interesting read by TorrentFreak shedding some light on the fact that piracy isn’t actually killing the industry. It was a very interesting report filled with facts and stats analyzing how piracy isn’t killing the physical sales but its the digital revolution.

Ernesto an author on TorrentFreak wrote

With the growing popularity of the Internet, computers and most importantly MP3-players, music fans have started to trade in their CDs for MP3s and other digital files. Initially, the public had to convert CDs themselves, but in 2003 the iTunes store opened, selling over a million tracks in the first week.

After cassettes ruled the market for 3 decades, CDs killed Cassettes and likewise now Mp3s have killed CDs.

With this digital shift the US market hasn’t suffered much, since the listeners have moved on to buying music through iTunes but what about Pakistan where there is no concept and infrastructure of e-commerce and internet sales. The habits of listeners have changed drastically but the system of sales is stuck where it was 3 decades ago. There has been a lot of gap between music and listeners now and has to be filled.

There is a serious need to start online sales right now, so, after a few years people get comfortable with buying content online. If the situation doesn’t get handled right now, the industry might even collapse since the physical sales are going down and there hasn’t been a single online store till now. Starting online sales model is much easier right now than the way it’s going to be after couple of years when the physical sales will go zero and all the resources will be dried up.

Meanwhile, till the online sales aren’t implemented the physical product has to be made far better than it is, to at least improve the sales. On talking to a Canadian Pakistani music enthusiast, Rafey responded

The answer to this question is often the fact that music is digital, and can be easily spread across the planet without spending a penny. What this does is make the product less tangible. Therein lies the problem. What I think the Pakistani music industry should be doing is focusing on the quality of the actual physical product if they want to increase sales. Out of all the Pakistani CD’s I’ve purchased, I remember maybe one or two actually having a proper booklet included. Make the packaging better, put a little effort into it, perhaps organize a CD launch party and the only way you can get access is to buy a CD, perhaps slip free tickets into random CD’s.. and of course, make the albums available online, that’s a no brainer.

Bottom line, stop worrying about curbing piracy and make your physical product more appealing to consumers.