In Conversation with BC Radio
In an era where online radio platforms are fast becoming the preferred listening medium of choice for a generation of internet savvy music consumers, web radio is increasing both in popularity and reach. In light of IndiEarth’s upcoming launch of the IndiEarth channel on web radio station BC Radio, we caught up with co-founder Kaustub Pandey about the inception of BC Radio, the success of online radio in India, and the future of the medium as a whole in today’s day and age.
IndiEarth: What motivated you to start BC Radio?
Kaustub: The BC Radio team is a group of musicians themselves. We all met at IITB and formed bands, played music and built a brotherhood. We have all at some point in time wanted to make careers in music and felt that there are too many deterrents in society – starting from society’s mentality to the social environment and resource availability. We started discovering this immense sea of talent in the Indian independent music scene and felt that this music and talent deserved more than just our attention. Thus, BC Radio was born.
IndiEarth: What do you see lacking in the independent music scene today in India, and how do you hope to effect change?
Kaustub: The dearth of platforms and opportunities available to the entire spectrum of musicians is the biggest problem with the scene today. We believe that Bollywood music has overshadowed, and in many cases overhauled the growth of the independent music scene. It has set TRPs, likes and views as the standard judgement criteria for creativity. The old tradition of buying music and keeping personal repositories is dead and record labels are desperately trying to cling on for dear life. The digital music scale is still perceived as a taboo and piracy rules the digital domain, endangering artist revenue. We believe that streaming is the legal, effective and personalized future of music. Streaming gives the ability to control the dispersal of music as well as prevents piracy or illegal downloading of content. We are also trying to tie up with various event management firms and college festivals to ensure we provide adequate platforms to the music other than our digital platform.
IndiEarth: How does one financially sustain an independent project like yours? Have you found there are sources of funding readily available for projects like BC Radio?
Kaustub: We have sustained this project with our own money. There are incubation centers that have funded projects like Tune Patrol and Musicfellas, so yes there are readily available sources of funding. The key however, according to us, is to take funding at the right time. We believe that once our content base is set up internationally, and all we need is scaling, we will definitely try for such funding sources ourselves.
IndiEarth: How would you compare the effectiveness of online radio, compared to AM/FM radio and other forms of media in today’s day and age?
Kaustub: Web radios like ours, are the future of entertainment. Mainstream radio is facing tremendous problems with regards to profitability and sustainability. The world is moving to mobile devices and everyone wants a personalized experience with generic services (examples – Google, Facebook, etc.). We essentially want customized products which are free at a basic level, but better user experience is chargeable. This is typically the free-mium model where a user base is made reliant on a free service and revenue is extracted from ancillary streams. With physical sales decreasing and online sales stagnating, we believe that revenue is not in selling music. It is in selling an experience. These core philosophies and insights make BC Radio very effective as compared to other forms of media.
IndiEarth: What are the platform’s long term goals/future plans?
Kaustub: We wish to evolve into a full fledged artist management platform in the digital vector. Soon we will be unleashing an all new way of how music is distributed and we are really excited about the plans we have! Once we have established a steady content acquisition system and developed our website to a certain level, all our efforts will be spent in marketing and scaling of the solution. Many surprises in store, as always! 🙂
IndiEarth: What do you hope for, from this collaboration with IndiEarth?
Kaustub: IndiEarth and BC Radio share the common vision of providing the artists with well deserved platforms to realize full potential of their music through the digital space. BC Radio aims to establish a long term relationship with IndiEarth and we see ourselves collaborating to do exciting projects both online and offline. BC Radio will ensure that the IndiEarth artists on our channel will be given adequate publicity and we aim to feature the artists independently or in sets in our mega campaigns like Project 42. We are both hoping for a long term friendship that will lead to the same destination and achieve the same vision.