You don’t need to be a YouTube sensation any more to have a global fan following. A newly launched online platform, IODA (Independent Online Distribution Alliance) offers upcoming musicians to look beyond their Myspace and Facebook accounts. Helping them distribute music internationally, the platform allows artistes to reach out to portals like iTunes and Amazon and make some quick bucks, even before a label signs them. “A majority of Indian labels and artistes do not have an easy and transparent way of reaching out to their global fans, so we wanted to fill the gap,” says Shridhar Subramaniam, president of Sony India, which has tied up with IODA to launch this online venture. “We have over 600 digital outlets across 50 countries, so the reach is massive.”
The idea is simple. Artistes can submit singles or albums to the IODA website iodaalliance.com, upon which Sony Music verifies authenticity. The music is then distributed to over 3,000 blogs, podcasts, internet radio stations, social networking and music websites and the artistes get paid accordingly.
And though desi online venture, Reverbnation has been doing the same for a while now, bands such as hip-hop act Bombay Bassment feel this new venture exposes them up to a wider audience. “Reverbnation has been our personal space to reach out to our fans till now. But with IODA, the reach is multi-fold,” says Jayesh Veralkar, manager of the band. “The system is quite transparent. Each artiste has an online dashboard that enables them see real-time data and stats,” he adds about this week-old venture.
So far so good, but with digital space and piracy considered notorious bedmates, isn’t there a reason to feel bogged down? Tabla player Bickram Ghosh says there is little to fear. “Piracy is inevitable. I’ve had people walking up to me with copied CDs, so there’s really no way out of this. Traditionally it’s hard to reach audiences through CDs, now that’ll change with online access,” adds Ghosh.