My wife & I relocated back to India after a decade in the UK. While in England, I rejoiced in the multitude of options it had to offer, in terms of concerts, literature, and easy accessibility to classical music.
Since coming to India, the discovery of BBC Radio 3 online has been a real godsend!
What is not so great is the exorbitant price one is obliged to pay for a copy of BBC Music magazine on the stands in India.
My heart leapt for joy when I first began to see BBC Music on the newsstands at select outlets in Mumbai & Goa. What shocked me is how expensive each copy is.
Each copy, priced £.4.60, should work out to less than Rs. 350, given the current exchange rate. Instead, we are expected to pay up more than double this amount i.e. Rs 736/-..
This sadly means that I have to be very opportunistic about which issue I buy. The fact that the issues are embalmed in plastic makes browsing through them impossible. If there’s an article I wish to read, or a CD that seems interesting, I then pay up for an issue. But if they were more reasonably priced, I might be tempted to buy more often.
I know for a fact from the vendors that the issues hardly ever fly off the shelves, and I am convinced that the high price is a major factor here. You’d have fewer takers in England too, if the price were £10 instead of the current price.
I do not claim to understand the economics of the whole process of getting the issues to India, but if the price were dropped even to the point where one had to pay 1 1/2 the converted amount, you’d have much better sales, and therefore a bigger market here in India, which I feel is poised to be the New World in interest in music.
Other international magazines like Time, Newsweek, etc are all available here at Rs. 100 or even less. Even allowing for the price of a CD (and one can get a CD from a decent label like EMI or Deutsche Grammophon priced around Rs. 300 or less here), I cannot understand why BBC Music alone should be so dear.
I looked up subscription options, but apparently it is possible to subscribe to BBC Music only if one lives in the UK, US or Canada!
I do hope that you will be able to look into this.
Dr. Luis Dias