Bangalore-based satellite radio company WorldSpace India has launched two 24-hour channels dedicated to Indian classical music, adding to its existing 30-channel offering. The channel 'Shruti' is dedicated to Carnatic music while 'Gandharv' is all about Hindustani music. Sanjay Ramakrishnan, Director - Consumer Audio Business, said the decision to start these two channels was taken considering the huge potential for niche music channels.
The satellite radio group currently has over 65,000 paid subscribers across the country. Ramakrshina said, WorldSpace fully revamped its India operations in 2004 in order to reach out to a larger number of listeners. Tapping regional niche markets has been a prime focus of the satellite radio player. The launch of 'Shruti' and 'Gandharv' is in line with this policy, he mentioned.
Programme Director R Mahadevan said the two channels would offer unique platforms for Indian classical music. "The channels are aiming to build a strong community of Indian classical music lovers by promoting continuous interaction between artistes and music enthusiasts by way of on-ground activities such as musical and community-based events," Mahadevan added.
However, the programming mix of these channels will not only have stimulating content for connoisseurs, but also include programmes that will cater to beginners and lay listeners. Apart from exploring various aspects of pure music in the Carnatic and Hindustani genres, the content will include music-based informative programmes to educate and widen the listener base of Indian classical music, Mahadevan said.
Washington DC-headquartered WorldSpace has two satellite services - AfriStar and AsiaStar. At present, the satellite radio broadcaster offers regional Indian channels that include KL Radio (Tamil), Sparsha (Kannada), RM Radio (Malayalam) and Spandana (Telugu).