Music artistes need not wait for record labels anymore. At the click of a mouse, they can release their album for the world to hear

With film music dominating the audio sales among youth, musicians are looking towards the Internet for releasing their albums. And, why won't they? Especially with multiple platforms, affordable costs and social media tools making it easier for them, than wait around to be signed up by record labels.

Chennai-based rock musician Ameeth Thomas used Facebook to announce the upcoming launch of his new single ‘Movie' on his website on October 5 through Bandcamp. (Bandcamp claims to have earned $3,32,615 — in the last 30 days — for artistes who have signed up with the service that lets you sell music through your own website).

More recently, Rebeat, the online music distribution company, came to Chennai to launch a custom-made product for the Indian market through Pro Music.


“Based on our inputs of the need of the Indian musician, Rebeat is launching a product called No.1. For Rs. 2,500, a band can buy the pack, upload 11 songs, and release an album,” says Sudhin Prabhakar of Pro Music.

The next time around, the band must buy the full product that costs Rs. 7,000 (one-time fee), and thereafter, pay only for incidentals (that work to Rs. 1,500 an album). The music is then instantly available over 300 online stores, including iTunes, Amazon, AOL, Nokia etc.

“Everybody acknowledges India's going to explode. Five years from now, there'll be a big change in the way music is sold. Rebeat, one of the largest music aggregator pays the musician 85 per cent royalty,” Sudhin adds. Further, the artistes will retain their rights to sell their music and CDs across other platforms.

Another experiment in the same mould is ArtistAloud, which, unlike Rebeat (an aggregator), is a platform for artistes fashioned more on the lines of the record label model. Only, it's online.

Thousands of artistes upload their unreleased work onto the website, and the in-house team of experts chooses the best 11 for their compilation albums.

ArtistAloud recently launched its first album ‘First 1s' with 11 musicians from around the world. The content has been distributed through Hungama's digital network.

Vote for the best

Listeners can vote for their favourite single from these 11, and the most voted will be released by Universal Music in a physical music compilation.

The portal further promotes artistes affiliated to it by organising a series of ‘webcerts'. On September 28 was a webcert featuring Manasi Scott, Aabhaas and Shreyas Joshi.

“With ‘Musicman' Mihir Joshi hosting the WebCerts, these live performances were webcast to fans all over the world. The audience experience the same rush of adrenaline they feel at an actual concert, in the comfort of their homes or offices,” he says.

“This is a place for artistes big or small to take their music to the world,” says Siddhartha Roy, chief operating officer, Hungama Digital Media. “You never know where your next big artiste can come from.”


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