The Saregama Carvaan was a risky product to launch by most accounts, but the range has seen surprising success. The Indian music label's foray into hardware has been focused on the older audience, taking advantage of the label's huge repository of music. Saregama has now launched Carvaan 2.0, the next version of its popular range of speakers with preloaded music. The Saregama Carvaan 2.0 is priced at Rs. 7,990, and is available in two colours - Classic Black and Emerald Green. The company is also bringing a Gold variant of the Carvaan 2.0, which will also be offered in two colours - Champagne Gold and Rose Gold.
The key feature of the Saregama Carvaan 2.0 remains its library of over 5,000 preloaded audio tracks, which are largely Indian music classics and devotional tracks aimed at the older audience. Saregama targets its audio products at Indian music enthusiasts over the age of 35, extensively using its massive catalogue of classic Bollywood and regional tracks.
However, a big addition to the new product is Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows users to access over 150 audio stations, being pushed as podcasts and curated by Saregama itself. The content on these stations includes music, talk shows, devotional content, children's content, and more. The stations are regularly updated, with Saregama claiming that between 6-60 minutes of new content is added to each station every day. Saregama has plans to increase the number of stations to 1,000 in the coming months.
While these speakers do allow for external connectivity, the key functionality remains the preloaded tracks that do not require any external device or Internet connectivity to be played. The Carvaan 2.0 range adds to this with online audio stations. However, the design, UI and approach remains focused on simplicity, as the product is targeted at an older audience that may not be comfortable with the complexities of new technology.
The Saregama Carvaan 2.0 comes with a rechargeable battery that promises 5-6 hours of use on a single charge, along with external connectivity through Bluetooth, USB, Aux In, and FM/AM radio. The Wi-Fi audio stations are maintained by Saregama itself, and are currently free to access with the speaker.
The design and feel of the Carvaan 2.0 remains largely the same as its predecessor, with a fourth function button added to give users access to Internet-based content. Additionally, Saregama has also launched the Rs. 15,990 Carvaan 2.0 Gold, which like its predecessor, comes with Harman Kardon-certified speakers, and similar Wi-Fi connectivity for access to online content. Connecting to the Internet has also been simplified, and is done through the Saregama app - available for iOS and Android. Once connected, the Carvaan receives the Wi-Fi credentials through the smartphone, and automatically connects and functions when the Wi-Fi mode is activated. Of course, users can continue to access the preloaded content as well.
Saregama gave us some interesting insights into the usage of the Carvaan range. Apart from offline sales outnumbering online sales, Saregama also has a dealer network across the country to make its Carvaan range available in over 400 cities across India. The product is naturally successful with older users, and has largely relied on word-of-mouth to improve its reach.
When asked if Saregama was working on a hardware product for younger audiences, Vikram Mehra - Managing Director of Saregama India - stated that it wasn't something it was working on, and that the company's focus was on providing a product for its older audiences.
The Saregama Carvaan 2.0 and Carvaan 2.0 Gold are available to buy starting today from saregama.com, and will eventually be made available on other online and offline retailers. The company also recently launched the Rs. 3,990 Saregama Carvaan Go, which brings portability and easy on-the-go use.
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