Hungama, the online music marketplace which caters to Bollywood and South Asian content, has announced the complete overhaul of their website and service. The new website is built completely in HTML5 and sports a rather nice interface. The website looks appealing and is easy to use and has none of its previous clutter. It has been launched as a beta.
The new website is not only a storefront but also serves as a streaming platform. The content available ranges from Indian content like music, music videos, full length movies to International music and videos. The addition of movies to this platform is a game changer for Hungama. This must also not have been very difficult for them due to their sustained ties with Bollywood production houses. In addition to streaming and downloading, the service has also debuted a new feature called ‘Music Cloud’.
Music Cloud is a repository controlled by Hungama which can accessed by any Internet enabled device. You have to create an account and download a Media Sync client pertaining to your device and platform. The client gives you access to Hungama’s repository of music pretty much anywhere. The cloud is free to use. Currently the service is accessible on Laptops, PCs, Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and Java. This covers almost the whole spectrum of entertainment and communication devices in the country. One good thing about this new feature is that ecosystem seems to be open in terms of cross-platform support and this is in contrast to Apple’s iTunes Store, which incidentally released today itself.
Besides the cloud, the service also has some new features like the ability to create playlists according to one’s taste and genre. You can create your playlists and share them with your friends on social mediums. Social networking is embedded into the service. You can sign up and buy music using your Facebook account and watch what your friends are playing. These are hardly new and innovative features but they are more than welcome. The website also has a Music Discovery feature which allows you to listen to music you have never heard before by taking in parameters like moods, genre, tempo, category etc. You can also favorite you songs and save your preferences once you have your account on the service.
The whole catalogue is also accessible offline through Hungama Oxigen touch retail points which will understandably have to be spread out throughout the country. This thing if it works out could be a significant revenue generator for Hungama across Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns.
Each ‘item’ (music track, video, ringtone, mobile wallpaper) costs Rs. 10 to download and can be re-downloaded 3 more times. A value pack of 4 items will cost Rs. 20. There is something called the super value pack which lets you buy 99 items for Rs. 99. And then there is the shocker – If you want unlimited downloads throughout the month, then you have to pay Rs. 99 per month. This one is exceedingly cheap and makes the previous Super Value pack totally redundant. Formats supported on the platform are mp3, wmv, 3gp. Music content spans the whole Indian music scene and includes regional music and artists too.
Movies on the other hand are priced differently. You can pay Rs. 249 and get unlimited HD movie streaming throughout the month. Rs.149 gets you unlimited SD movie streaming for 30 days. You can add your payment details in your account and choose to auto renew your subscription after 30 days are over. If you are subscribed to the HD plan, you will be able to view movies in the SD plan for free. You can also switch between plans whenever you want. The movies section sports a decent collection of Indian movies including regional ones.
Hungama is taking on everyone:
The service looks very good and it was about time Hungama did something like this, since it was the early runner in the digital distribution business before other services came along. It is amazing how the new Hungama manages to pit against so many Indian content distribution platforms. It comes head to head with Flyte and Apple’s iTunes in terms of Indian music. The platform also spells trouble for Bigflix and other movie streaming services with its rather affordable pricing plans. The streaming and social functionality challenges existing streaming and successful streaming platforms like Saavn and Dhingana. The addition of Cloud and mobile access makes it a nearly complete ecosystem for Indian content.
I am excited about how the Indian digital content distribution segment is shaping up and this new development will only force others involved in the business to innovate further or risk getting left behind.
Website | Hungama