In praise of Moser Baer, and some thoughts on movie piracy in India

Battle between creators and pirates of movies is that of a cat and mouse Most of us watch movies, and we may buy DVDs/CDs for our personal collection also. In this case Moser Baer (India) is a company that keeps on pulling up surprises. I am impressed by the ingenuity of this company.

Piracy is universal. As long as there is demand, supply will be there. I mean for how much could a customer buy a pirated copy of a movie, here in India- from Rupees 30 to Rupees 100 Rupees (about 1 or 2 US dollars). Some time back the price advantage the pirates had over the original content was was huge, that most customers could not appreciate the original creators.

What did Moser Baer do? Slash the price of original content, in an elegant packing to comparable or even lower to what the pirated would have sold for- Rs 30 for original VCD, Rs 49 for original DVD- I praise the foresight of the MBAs at the company.

But as Readers all over the world would appreciate, this is a game of cat and mouse. While browsing through the local flea market I came across pirated DVDs having packaging similar to Moser Baer and selling at almost similar rates. It sucks. The customer possibly gets lower quality video and the artists get zero out of it.

Then, another trend began to surface- a single DVD having four or five movies-low resolution, possibly copy of VCD. Now, the illegal piracy industry up the ante and seemed to be winning.

Guess what, a couple of days, saw an ad on TV- now Moser Baer is selling the same thing, but both the customer and the creators must be rejoicing.
A couple of days back I bought Digit computer magazine and while checking out the DVDs guess which company had replicated it- none other but Moser Baer.
As my sister, who is studying business tells this is Price Penetration and helps ais absorbing bigger and bigger market share, and building goodwill. Then I asked if prices are increased once sufficient market share is achieved. Glad to learn that then the economics of mass production kicks in and the cost of production becomes unbelievingly low.

I would like to end with an idea on piracy. It might never be possible to finish piracy 100%. Why? Because the customers include educated and the non-educated laborer class. And most probably the blind coping of pirated stuff has much more margin than the official stuff. And non-educated laborer customers are easily persuaded to go with that also.

Well, barring that section of consumers, I think such pricing and content is a tonic for the industry and enjoyment for us. What's your take on this?
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Credits: Image courtesy ugaldew
Originally published on my personal blog here