22 Sep 2017
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Sony Music takes landmark step towards paywall with Pritam and Diplo’s song ‘Phurrr’

MUMBAI: In what it says is a landmark move, Sony Music India has taken what is potentially its biggest track this year and put it behind a limited-time paywall. Therefore, to be the first one to listen to Pritam and Diplo’s ‘Phurrr’ featuring Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka Sharma, listeners will have to pay!

Another step in the direction is that a sample video unit of the song will be released on YouTube along with the audio on 3 August; however, the full song will come out later.

Sony Music India is hoping that this step will be the change agent for the Indian music industry.

Sony Music Entertainment, India and Middle East president, Shridhar Subramaniam said, “The concept of ‘everything-free’ will change or rather needs to change to an ecosystem where some things will be free and other things will be paid. The reason ‘Phurrr’ was chosen is because it is the biggest project of the year with an international collaboration, so we felt that if we are taking this step, then we must do it with a very big song. We needed a big project with a must-listen song that had so much anticipation. We’re inserting a paid window in the music business which didn’t exist prior to this.”

This means that any consumer/listener who wants to access the song first will now have to pay for the same. This bold decision comes after much deliberation with key partners and stakeholders including audio streaming platforms such as Saavn, Gaana, Hungama, as well as the producer of the film Red Chillies Entertainment.

The stakeholders do seem to be supportive of the decision, Shridhar said, “At the end of the day, it is the health of the music industry and the health of the platforms that are at stake, and this decision directly benefits the health of the creators. They will definitely be in for this. While also for us Red Chillies, Shah Rukh Khan and Pritam embraced this idea whole-heartedly.”

What Sony Music India is doing with ‘Phurrr’ is essentially warming up listeners to pay to access the latest music, via subscriptions. The label promises to follow this through with other tracks going forward.