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India music stores and online distributors

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The Hindustan Times
Sunday. August 27, 2000
Musical escapades: From the racks to the Net

IÔøΩm a cyber viber, In a virtual sea/IÔøΩm a glider rider, On a surfing spree.

Come and,/ Come and/ Come and vibe with meÔøΩÔøΩ

It may be music to your ears, but these are the lyrics of IndiaÔøΩs first cyber song - Cyber Viber; composed and sung by Remo Fernandes.

Pop singer Remo of Jalwa fame had especially composed this song for fabmart.com, an online music store in January.

There are thousands of music titles ranging from rock, pop, bhangra, classical, bhakti etc available on the World Wide Web. The Internet has completely rocked and revolutionized the music industry all over the world and India is no exception.

"The Internet is pied piping our Net entrepreneurs, artistes, fans and music labels to dance to their tunes," says Manubhai Shah, who runs a music store at MumbaiÔøΩs Crossroads.

Fabmart.com, soundbuzz.com, musicurry.com, vindia.com, audiofind.com, mp3.com are some of the websites frequently visited by music fans to download Indian as well as international music. Back home, musicurry.com is the only Indian portal to have obtained license to host and play Indian music online.

The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd, wings of the Indian Music Industry (IMI), have granted musicurry.com the first of its kind license to legally host a wide variety of music ranging from golden to the very latest releases in the Indian music world.

"We have also got exclusive rights for Hirthik Roshan starrer Fiza and Dhadkan," says Rohini Rego of musicurry.com. musicurry.com promotes all forms of Indian songs ranging from Indipop to film music and regional music. It was also the first Indian portal to launch online label as well as online tutor (online guruji) for budding musicians. ÔøΩWe are planning to diversify into international rock music, which would enhance our popularity,ÔøΩ says Rego.

Things have changed a lot for fabmart.com ÔøΩ which launched its first cyber song ÔøΩ Cyber Viber. The company has just launched a new album on the net; 'Balle Balle Boys' by two new bhangra artists - Vineet Singh and Navdeep Singh.

"Ladoo Kha, from the Balle Balle Boys is our attempt to promote budding musicians and use the power of the Net to reach large audiences," says K. Vaitheeswaran, vice-president marketing, Fabmart India.

Fabmart.com is a multi-store virtual supermarket, and has started a music store with a collection of 5,000 music titles. The launch of the latest album ÔøΩSarvasriÔøΩ by M Balamurali Krishnan exclusively on Fabmart was a worldwide first. It also launched a collection of Kannada cine star RajkumarÔøΩs devotional and film music on its website to coincide with Karnataka Rajyotsava Day celebration. ÔøΩWe are getting 500-600 orders per day over the Net. This includes the entire range of music labels available with us,ÔøΩ says Vaitheeswaran.

The new entrants are also concentrating on tapping fresh talent through the Internet by marketing their songs. Soundbuzz.com, which is one of the worldÔøΩs first digital music distributors, has recently held a talent search for budding artists in the metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Chennai. ÔøΩWe are planning to rope in 25-30 new artists every year (five each from every city) and promote their music,ÔøΩ says Sardha Ratnam of soundbuzz.com.

Soundbuzz.com is focusing specially on Indian music for promotion, sampling and purchasing of secure downloadable music from major record labels, as well as independent labels and unsigned artists via digital downloads.

The company has already tied up with music companies like BMG Crescendo and Megnasound, and artists like Lucky Ali, Asha Bhosle, Leo Begga and Whitney Houston. Though it is too early to take a look at cash registers, the online music stores have finally arrived. With web radio too making inroads into the Indian homes, itÔøΩs time to muse on and keep an ear to the ground.

Anand Adhikari

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