Ever wondered what is the story behind your favourite Bollywood classic song? The SongPedia has the answerPrateeksha Nayak
Remember those mornings? Old Hindi classics playing on a tape-recorder in the vicinity amidst the hustle bustle of all the morning activities, and your grandparents getting nostalgic about the time the song was first out? Years have gone by, the humble tape-recorder has now been replaced by your cellphone and the songs, well, you have a new favourite everyday! Miss the good old times, don’t you? The SongPedia comes to the rescue!
“We are music lovers and listening to music and analysing its nuances is an important part of our day-to-day life. We also interact with lot of people related to music legends and their families and hear stories that are now known to everyone. This is when we realised that all these things need a platform where we could share this with music lovers,” says Deepa Buty, Co-founder, The SongPedia. It is a website that lets people read about music, from classics to that of upcoming artistes, and information on music-focused startups as well.
So, how did the idea come about?
It all began when Deepa, 40, met her co-founder, Bal Krishna Birla,42, a serial entrepreneur and a techie, at a musical gathering in Nagpur, which also happens to be Deepa’s hometown. They got talking about music in general and realised it would be a good idea to share all the trivia with the world.
While Deepa is an ardent music lover who understands the finer aspects of music, Birla adds his technology skills to the team. With the right amalgamation of skills, the founders then went on to hire music lovers who could write content for the website from all over the country. The team comprises two full-time content writers, while readers also contribute extensively as freelancers.
While the website covers various aspects such as song stories, musicians, trivia, start-ups and events, content remains the primary focus. Advertising is the primary source of revenue for the website, which is currently clocking around a quarter million page views per month. The aim is to write 5,000 articles and reach out to at least a million music lovers per month by April this year, say the founders.
What about competition? While there are some offline magazines, there is no real competition in the online space, say the founders. The SongPedia has already achieved the cult status of being the largest music magazine on the Internet, which the team owes to their unique network of people it has built. This network understands music and contributes to the website as well. Armed with the right network and technology the founders hope to create a large media organisation in the space.
While The SongPedia’s prime focus is on content and song trivia, it also acts as a discovery platform for upcoming artistes and musicians. In this era of reality stars, where getting famous is relatively simple, it is sustainability that is difficult. The website has set out to solve this problem by writing about upcoming musicians, and it also connects them with relevant startups and event companies.
“Our music industry sells mostly Bollywood or divine music. We want to change that landscape. We want to promote lot of independent artistes who create original music.Lot of artistes spend their life dedicated to art and they are not very good at managing such corporate contracts. We don’t have professional artiste agents in our country and that also complicates this further.”
The SongPedia wants to make sure that artistes don’t land the raw deal with labels or event companies. Apart from actively writing about musicians and startups in the sector The SongPedia team also plans on creating a studio where artistes can record original music and reach out to a large number of music lovers.
The road ahead
The website caters to a varied audience and has something for every music lover. But what do the founders ultimately want to focus on?
“We want to become the online media for music industry. In simple words, we want to become YourStory for the music world,” Deepa says.
In this day and age, where hit songs don’t remain hits the next day and reality stars you voted for yesterday have slipped into oblivion today, The SongPedia comes across as a breath of fresh air, with a sense of permanence and the promise to stay just like those good old classics our grandparents are often nostalgic of.