Saregama adds internet to Carvaan, now has online radio, podcasts

Saregama Carvaan, arguably the most successful digital audio product in India, has finally got internet connectivity, and along with it, support for online radio and podcasts.

Carvaan 2.0 comes with support for Wifi, said its maker Saregama.

“The pre-loaded 5000 songs continue to be accessed anytime without internet along with other features like FM/ AM, USB & Bluetooth. In addition, the customer can now one-time connect her Carvaan 2.0 to home wifi using free companion app, and then access hundreds of audio stations including specially curated playlists offering 20k Hindi songs,” it said.

The move could help Saregama take the product beyond its current target customers — the older generation — and tap into more younger audiences.

The device became extremely successful due to the merger of the latest, digital technology with the simple and familiar interface of a traditional transistor radio.

Instead of tuning into stations, Saregama Carvaan simply loaded the songs from the onboard memory. The device, priced at around Rs 6,000, was a hit with the older generation, especially in the Hindi speaking market.

Saregama, being a record label, also had access to a larger repertoire of classic songs which helped the company keep the price under control.

Carvaan 2.0 is priced at Rs 7990.

A premium version has been launched in Gold variant with Harman Kardon speakers in two colors – Champagne Gold and Rose Gold at Rs 15990.

The device promises a playback time of 5-6 hours, as well as a one-year customer-premise warranty.

The new Saregama Carvaan comes with four buttons — Artists, Specials, Geetmala and Wifi.

The company said it has tried to ensure that the process of connecting the device to a Wifi network, tuning into radio stations and subscribing to podcasts and so on are simple.

The radio stations cover genres like devotional, entertainment, music , health and wellness, kids, sports, news and lifestyle.

They come with names such as Bhagwad Geeta ka Saar, Sampoorna Sundarkand, Nani Maa ki Nuskhe, Musafir hoon Yaaron, Wordgram, Open Mike (poetry), Bachchon ki Kahaniyan, Bedime stories, Stock Market updates etc.

“Each of these 150+ stations is updated regularly, and can be accessed on-demand and maintains bookmark,” Saregama said.

The key advantage of internet-enabling the device is that the content can be refreshed automatically.

“With so much high quality podcasting content being created, we believe that the available number of stations will touch 1000 within a few months,” it said.

Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, Saregama India said Carvaan 2.0 is a response to consumer feedback about widening the content offering on Carvaan.

“The list of new audio stations cut across the age groups and offers something to every member of the family. Next few months will see us enhancing the content offering by working with a wide range of content creators who see Carvaan as an effective platform for disseminating their audio content,” he added.