It was the difficulty in searching for Indian bands on MySpace that propelled Jai Rajagopal to conceptualise a website dedicated purely to Indian independent artistes and bands. The site myband.co.in features more than 2,000 bands from across the country, with more than 5,000 tracks and 1,000 videos online. “The idea was to have a space for only indigenous acts and provide them with a platform where they can interact with fans and upload songs and videos. We have also consciously stayed away from Bollywood,” says Rajagopal.
The website allows artistes and bands to create a profile page and manage their own content. “Once you create a profile, you have access to everything on the site. The process is transparent and uploading material is simple too,” adds Rajagopal, who quit his job at a media organisation to work fulltime with the site. The tracks and videos on the site are pre-buffered with no annoying interruptions if you’re listening to a song. There’s a chart too that rates uploaded tracks based on the number of times they’ve been played, and the amount of activity that the respective bands have engaged in.
The website attracts around 7,000 new visitors every day and given the fact that it is directed at a niche crowd, Rajagopal believes that it is no mean feat. “Since we have been receiving heavy traffic, a lot of top brands have shown interest in advertising on the site. But we avoid banner ads and pop-ups and instead focus on innovative ways that work for the advertisers and us,” he says. The site also launched an exclusive video of city artiste Ankur Tewari’s song “Jaanu…’ earlier this year. “Unlike American sites like MySpace and Soundcloud, one feels home on this site, since we are a part of a closely-knit community. The site has been actively promoting my music and my video received around 2,000 hits on the site,” Ankur says.
With MyBand generating revenue both online and offline (through concerts and corporate gigs), Rajagopal is expanding it to include Asian acts too. The site myband.asia recently saw a soft launch and is being worked upon. “Our neighbouring countries house excellent talent and it was only natural for us to include them as well,” he says.
Indie music online
Indianrockmp3.com houses database of bands with links to their myspace pages
Reverbnation.com features band profiles and videos
indiagigalert.com provides gig resources, news, pictures and reviews.