Independent Indian or Indie music is a genre that is gaining traction in the country. With MTS India owning the MTS Discover platform and the recent Pepsi-Viacom18 tie up for the 24 hour television channel ‘Pepsi MTV Indies’ has made the segment interesting once again. Likewise to create dominance over indie music, Gaana.com, the country’s premier online music broadcasting service from Times Internet, has acquired the independent songs portal, Musicfellas.com.
The recent acquisition has been made by Times Internet to work closely with the fast emerging indie music industry in the country. Talking about the development Pawan Agarwal, Business Head, Gaana.com shared that while the efficient team of Musicfellas.com joins the team at Gaana, the development will also help Gaana to be at the forefront of online music broadcasting business in India, particularly on mobile. Gaana is also looking forward to expand the developer ecosystem around the product to build a large suite of applications.
The acquisition for the indie music portal Musicfellas.com which started back in mid 2012 is quite interesting. The portal was started by three friends – Mayank Jain, Gaurav Shahlot and Shubhranshu Jain who shared a common interest for music and wanted to improve the situation of independent music in the country.
Today the platform has over 700 Indie music artists across the globe, making its mark as a niche Indie music community of India. While it allows users to better discover, network and buy new indie music, it also helps independent artists make money by selling and promoting their music online.
In October, 2012 the startup raised a seed funding of $20,000 from TLabs , a technology accelerator and seed fund run by Times Internet. With this acquisition the startup joins the team of Gaana.com. Taking over the role of a developer evangelist at Gaana, Mayank thinks that joining hands with Gaana will provide them a bigger platform to help grow the indie music scene in the country.
Online music isn’t dead still
Digital music in the country has seen ups and downs in 2013; this is a good news for 2014. We have seen how established players like Gaana, Saavn and Hungama are making efforts to grow the digital music business, which accounted for nearly Rs. 700 crore in revenues at the end of 2012.
But then we read about the uncertain future of Indian streaming music startup Dhingana after T-Series, its biggest music label partner, said it will not be renewing their licensing agreement since it was not able to see much traction. This was followed by other developments like Nokia pulling the plug on Nokia Music’s Indian website, In.com shutting down its music streaming service though it was not an individual decision of demand for music streaming services.
Nonetheless, this acquisition by Gaana could bring cheers to the startup community but the debate about how much is the Indian consumer willing to pay for digital music is still wide open. NextBigWhat digs more on the same and the digital music trends in India that makes for a worthy read.