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News |  26 Apr 2013 17:26 |  By RnMTeam

InSync - India's first classical music channel announced

MUMBAI: Fans of Indian classical music can rejoice as the country’s first 24- hour Indian Classical music channel will come on-air in June. ‘InSync’- the channel launched by Perfect Octave will be available  free-to-air on HD (High Definition) via DTH (direct-to-home) platform. The distribution will be carried out by Cira Media.

The channel will initially be available across the country’s top four metros- Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

The programming will include devotional music, retro film songs based on ragas, fusion music, reality talent hunt shows and live performances.

Speaking with InSync founder Ratish Tagde said, “We are focusing primarily on two target audience. Firstly, the classical music purists who know the artists and the ragas. The second target group is the youth who will be entertained with infotainment content like campus talk shows, classical music and performances, reality shows and talent hunt. The channel will also incorporate Western Classical music, classical dances like Bharatnatyam and other genres of ‘pure’ music.”

Perfect Octave expects to get up to 10 million subscribers from the four metros before considering any expansion initiatives. The channel’s revenue stream will be reinforced by advertisements, mainly- high-end brands- that are keen to associate themselves with refined and ‘exclusive’ genre of music.

According to Perfect Octave research a large proportion of music lovers listen to Bollywood music, the second being Ghazal and Indi-Pop ranked as a third preferred choice. However, Ghazal is ranked first among the entire music genre, followed by Indian Classical & Bollywood music, showing audience preference towards these genres. The study also revealed that approximately 51 percent Indians listen to music on a dedicated music channel and around 67 percent have welcomed the idea of a launch of a classical-based music channel.

Iconic personalities from the genres of music such as noted SantoorplayerPanditShivkumar Sharma, versatile Vocalist Shankar Mahadevan, noted flute maestro Pt. HariprasadChaurasia, vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, young Sitar player Niladri Kumar, Tabla wizard Pt. Vijay Ghate, Pt RajanSajan Mishra have come together to form an advisory committee which will steer the channel’s content.

At hand is 150 hours of HD video footage on Indian classical music- many rare- owned by Perfect Octave, worth Rs 52 crores. For the more contemporary content, the company will present on-location and studio based anchored programmes with telecasts of live concerts. The company is also proposing to enter into a Joint Venture (JV) with Doordarshan for usage of the latter’s archival footage.

The company also plans to undertake a host of marketing and merchandising initiatives like value added services (VAS) on mobile, CD & DVDs, corporate events, event management and artist management. It also plans to launch a dedicated Indian Classical FM radio station and a label.

“We are optimistic about our new channel- it’s a niche channel with very dedicated audience. Out of the Rs 1,000 crore non-Bollywood music market, Indian classical music comprise of sizable chunk. And if we ignore other genres, Indian classical music can stand on its own. It also has an advantage of having a longer life- a Bollywood song has a life of six months, whereas a Zakir Hussian music has a life of 25 years,” Tagde said.

He highlighted that the decision to launch the channel was based on the fact that the onset of  cable TV digitization allowed for focused telecast of specialized programmes for niche audiences at affordable rates. The company expects to break even in 2-3 years.

“I have personally invested Rs 10 crores in the project along with years of footage in HD that I have collected. What is important is the support and interest that other classical musicians and artists have shown for InSync. The communication between the artists, the channel and audiences will be free and open with suggestions welcome to make InSync grow,” he revealed.