Piracy is rampant in Pakistan and for good reason: Pakistanis can’t afford to pay $40 for a Blu-ray copy of ‘Avatar’, or $20 for the new Coldplay CD. The international recording and film communities have left us to our own devices and as always, we prevailed! But things have changed now, and accessing music and videos has never been easier… or cheaper.

Enter Taazi.com…

The brainchild of acclaimed Pakistani singer Haroon, Taazi takes the digitization of music and video and makes it easy and affordable for Pakistanis to obtain. Most musicians use SoundCloud and BandCamp to promote their music online. YouTube was a revolutionary option when it came to sharing videos and promoting them, but having been banned two years ago, Pakistanis have since had to turn to Facebook, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.

Taazi combines all these websites into one platform and integrates their features across social media websites. So how much does it cost? The international standard price is at about 99 cents, or Rs. 100. But on Taazi, you can purchase a song for just 10 rupees — the price of a naan! Pretty cheap when you compare it to iTunes, eh?

The process couldn’t be simpler. You browse the site, find what you’re looking for (or Stumble Upon something new), listen to a preview, click to buy, and use your mobile number to pay for the music. The cost is instantly deducted from your mobile balance. Since there are more mobile users than people with credit cards, it’s a brilliant way to purchase media legally.

So why should you use it? For customers, you have easy access to their large database of songs and it’s a great place to connect with music lovers from around the world. As an artist, it’s completely free to use, you have a large customer base to promote to, and you can sell your music onto iTunes directly. And that’s not even the best part… Aspiring artists earn 70% of royalties from every song sold – something previously unheard of in the music biz.

According to CityFm89 RJ Wes Malik, “Lots of big names have signed up to it, including complete catalogues of music labels like EMI, and artists like Haroon, Vital Signs, QB, Abbas Ali Khan, Ali Azmat, Qayaas and many more.”

Currently, Taazi is limited to Mobilink and Ufone users. While speaking to Wes Malik on his show Drive Thru, Haroon mentioned that they are currently in talks with the other network providers and hope they will be onboard by the end of October.

So now Pakistanis have an easy and cheap alternative to piracy, all the while encouraging artists to produce more of what we love. Have the urge to download Ali Haider’s latest track? Hit up Taazi.com, and enjoy the ride!