Tuning into the podcast wave

Advertising professional Lavin Punjabi, 26, belongs to a small group of regular music podcast users in India. Punjabi, an electronic dance music (EDM) fan, keeps track of his favourite artists in the genre by subscribing to their podcasts. And every week, through a new episode, he finds out what’s new in the EDM world.

Sensing an opportunity for enthusiasts like Punjabi, Mumbai-based club Blue Frog launched its eponymous podcast last month. Since then, they have released two episodes. Hosted by Chhavi Sachdev, 33, the podcasts include interviews with artists on the club’s calendar along with their exclusive tracks, which can be downloaded from the club’s website.

A few other artistes are entering the scene too. Arjun S Ravi, editor of online music magazine indiecision.com, and Neysa Mendes, label manager, Counter Culture Records, have teamed up to produce the country’s first indie music podcast called ‘Other Noise’, that launches on December 28. The

25-minute fortnightly episode will pack in news, interviews, reviews, gig picks and sneak previews of new tracks.

“Bands such as Pentagram, Zero and Shaai’r n Func are on our agenda for the first few episodes,” says Mendes.

“It’s a great start,” believes Kiruba Shankar, CEO, Business Blogging Pvt Ltd and producer of a popular podcast kiruba.tv.

Podcasts can also be stored and archived and hence, double as great reference material. One reason why podcasts of Indian classical music flourish in the US. New York-based Carnatic vocalist Vidya Subramaniam and Devesh Satyavolu have been co-producing a podcast called ‘Raagarasika’ since June 2008.

Sachdev, who also produces her own podcast, ‘Bombay Talkies’, from home. says it’s easy but takes time if done professionally.  Bandwidth connections have also improved (low bandwidth is one of the reasons holding back podcasting in India). “When third-generation technology comes in, the floodgates for podcasting will be opened,” believes Shankar.


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