Going digital — the only way forward for indie artistes! - Peddler Media -->
Going digital — the only way forward for indie artistes!

Going digital — the only way forward for indie artistes!

 

Streaming platforms such as YouTube and Spotify have given a new lease of life to independent musicians. Established as well as budding artistes are thankful for this new found opportunity.

Singer Shilpa Rao says that this is the best time to release indie music because audiences are lapping it up.

The digital revolution in India has changed the way Indians consume content. With tens of streaming platforms such as YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and so many more, internet is the hub of everything hip today. And content creators too have realised the potential of these platforms. Not just shows and movies, songs and albums, too, are now released directly onto these sites.

Established as well as budding artistes have taken to Spotify and YouTube to release their new singles and EPs and swear by their effectiveness. Since physical distribution of music has become non-existent, everything happens online nowadays.

New opportunities during lockdown

For budding artiste Shachi Pathak, digital platforms gave her a new lease of life during this lockdown. She released her debut EP, Mann Tarang, last month, and digital platforms such as Spotify and YouTube were the main platforms where people could listen to her music.

Musician Shachi Pathak’s debut EP Mann Tarang was made entirely during the lockdown.
Musician Shachi Pathak’s debut EP Mann Tarang was made entirely during the lockdown.

It’s a given that mainstream music channels on TV or even radio do not promote indie artistes. So, these platforms are really the only way for upcoming artistes to put their work out there. And not just for upcoming artistes, these platforms have given established singers, too, a chance to have a more organic relationship with their listeners.

Singer Shilpa Rao and composer Rochak Kohli have both been releasing relatively more songs on YouTube for their fans to listen to. And they both believe that digital platforms are a great way to promote independent music.

Rao feels that digital platforms are the only option left for musicians to release songs that they identify with on a personal level. She says, “With Bollywood music being non-existent, these platforms are the only source of fresh music now because a lot of artistes including me have turned to YouTube to release our songs that we didn’t get the time to work on and release earlier due to our mainstream work. It is a great time for independent artistes to make any kind of songs they like and put it out on whatever platforms are accessible. Right now, people are gobbling up new music from independent artistes. Whether or not someone is helping you or promoting you, nothing should stand between an artiste and his or her ability to put out music.”

Nikitaa’s single Goddess , which released last month, has over 50,000 views on YouTube.
Nikitaa’s single Goddess , which released last month, has over 50,000 views on YouTube.

For indie artiste Nikitaa, who released a new single titled Goddess last month, believes in the power of digital platforms and says that “Spotify is independent artiste-friendly”. “I think it is amazing that a streaming platform is building ways to provide better opportunities to artistes. These platforms also provide analytics — where your music is being streamed/watched, and other such helpful metrics that can then help people create a target audience for their music. Streaming platforms are what you make of them, and it can be a steep learning curve at times, but at least some of these tools exist and are beginning to slowly but steadily help level the playing field,” she says.

Money matter, but it’s not everything

For Kohli, his independent music found an even larger audience during the lockdown and so, he decided to start his own YouTube channel. He jokes that when he started it, the channel only had two subscribers but over time, he has built a healthy and loving community of music lovers. “I launched my YouTube channel during the lockdown and I now have over 60,000 subscribers on my channel. And to be honest, I didn’t have to put in a lot of money to do that. For my first song on the channel, I had barely invested any money for advertising on YouTube. By the time I released my second song, I decided to up the amount little by little because it gives you returns. There is nothing wrong in paying money to advertise your music. It is the same as advertising a shampoo or biscuit. YouTube has a great collection of audience members where listeners for every kind of niche music product can be found. There is nothing wrong in capitalising on that,” says Kohli.

Rochak Kohli says that he started his own YouTube channel recently and has now built a heathy community of music lovers.
Rochak Kohli says that he started his own YouTube channel recently and has now built a heathy community of music lovers.

For Pathak, digital platforms really amped up the visibility of her debut EP. The singer, who had started her music journey by making short cover videos, says that “money is not the key factor required to achieve success in this field”. “Yes, you do better when you have better connection and know people on the inside of these platforms, but that does not necessarily mean that more money is equal to more success. These platforms are quite transparent, and if the audience likes your music, you will be noticed, she says.”

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