DesiHits recently made waves by raising first round of funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson ventures. Goes to demonstrate the potential that the online audio/video streaming has and yet I didn’t know of too many serious players that are hugely popular yet. Of course there are old players Raaga and MusicIndiaOnline which have been around for quite some time and have a considerable user base and traffic, but they just seem to be too busy making money off of those popups and banner ads and audio ads. There’s been hardly any innovation (not even in the look ‘n feel!) in these sites. So I went hunting for the new generation of players that are trying to make their mark in this space and here are the findings. As you would expect, I could find sites not only in the category of streaming bollywood music, but also sites that provide cool ways of finding and discovering new music. I am only covering audio sites here - video would be a whole new post.
Streaming music: Dhingana is a new generation online music streaming site. Basic concept is same as Raaga, but has much better quality of songs and provides enhanced functionalities for searching and sharing.
Music search: Sangeetix leverages the already existing music files and podcasts on the Internet by indexing them and provides the users the capability to search all those files.
New music discovery: Radioverve, JhankarBeats help you find the works of upcoming musicians and artists. Consistent with the Web2.0 trend, there’s also a social networking portal centered around audio/video sharing called SaffronConnect.
Podcasts: This phenomenon is catching up very fast in India. The list of players is increasing everyday, some of the major ones being Podtech India (tech podcasts), Indicast (general news), PodMasti (bollywood talk), Podbazaar (news and entertainment), Kamla Bhatt show (life, people, ideas), etc. Here is a review of some of these podcasting sites.
Conclusion: There’s quite a few upcoming players covering a variety of activities around online streaming music. The good thing going for these players is that even though the brandband penetration is still very low, the NRI market is quite large. So if they consistently provide good service and keep innovating, at least some of them can make it big, when broadband hits the critical mass in India. One service that I would have loved, but couldn’t find was to listen to some of the local FM radio channels like RadioMirchi, RadioCity etc. on the Internet. Seems like Indiatimes would be a logical site that could provide this? Also on a side note, Rediff closed their Internet radio station that it used to have a while back. Wonder what could be the reason for that?