Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel has now become the country's biggest music company, overtaking the industry leader Saregama, on the back of its music-related value-added mobile services, a top executive has said.
"Music Bharti has become the largest music company in India, overtaking Saregama India Ltd in terms of revenue," Bharti Airtel's Deputy CEO Sanjay Kapoor said.
While Kapoor did not disclose the exact revenue earned by Music Bharti, which provides music services like hello tunes, call-back tunes and music on demand, Saregama had a annual revenue of about Rs 150 crore in the fiscal ended March 31, 2008.
Bharti Airtel, flagship company of Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Group, recently entered into an exclusive multi-million dollar deal with Machester United in Manchester, under which it would offer its mobile subscribers access to the mobile content related to the British soccer club.
"We are growing fast in the music segment," Kapoor said, adding there was huge growth potential for the company in other value-added service segments like mobile commerce also.
"About 80 per cent of Indians are unbanked and mobile- commerce, as also money transfer through mobiles, would bring in financial inclusion," Kapoor said.
"These services are catching up very fast among Indians and have a huge potential for generating revenues at Bharti Airtel," he added.
Late last year, Bharti Airtel had bagged the 'Best Mobile Music, TV or Video Service' award at the GSMA Asia Mobile Award 2008 at Macau. Airtel's Music-On-Demand was awarded for creating a uniquely intuitive, personalised user experience of music on mobile.
Airtel had bagged the prestigious award among stiff competition from global leaders such as Telstra Corporation, Australia, Geodesic Inc, US, Artificial Life Inc, Hong Kong and Gracenote, US.
The company was also recognised as the best among its global peers for its Music-On-Demand service. At that time, the company had said, "At Airtel, we believe that music in its various forms, genres strikes a universal chord with mobile users. Today an increasing number of customers are looking at the mobile as their single device for all entertainment needs."