WorldSpace Satellite Radio and MSN India have launched Internet radio services in the country. Listeners can subscribe to the service for $ 9.9 per month, and the service is primarily targetted towards the NRIs. Five stations, Farishta (Hindi film classics), Sparsha (Kannada), Spandana (Telugu), Gandharv (Hindustani classical) and Shruti (Carnatic music), are already available online, while more stations are slated to be accessible over time.
Velu Shankar, Senior Advisor-Content and Programming, WorldSpace India, expressed his delight with the partnership and said, “We believe that with this initiative we will help bridge the needs of Indians across the globe to be closely connected with their roots and Indian culture, and provide a platform to savour songs online.”
Jaspreet Bindra, India Country Manager-Online Service Group, Microsoft, noted that with this association users can listen to licensed, high-quality and legal music online. Observing that the present crop of available Internet radio stations is illegal, he added, “Time will come when people will pay to acquire quality content online.”
Elaborating on the partnership, Krishna Prasad, Executive Producer, MSN India, said, “While music on the net is gaining popularity, users in India today do not have many radio stations online to listen to the music they love.“
Sharing about the introduction of a subscription-based revenue model in India, Bindra noted that MSN may bring in advertising options on the portal if the volumes increase over time.