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Four Music Platform Initiatives We’re Following Right Now

From live recordings to global spotlight, India’s artists are getting a leg up

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India May 28, 2020

Electronic music duo Lost Stories, who are part of YouTube Foundry this year. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Whether it’s related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and how it’s affected the music industry or just a much-needed shot in the arm for indie artists, streaming platforms are going forward full speed ahead with plans. While this could mean elevating the status of already well-followed artists, some are focusing on the global push. We check out a few below.

Spotify RADAR

Touted as Spotify’s “global emerging-artist program,” the streaming giant has picked Arunachalese singer-songwriter Taba Chake, Mumbai pop artist Mali and Kerala folk/indie act When Chai Met Toast for RADAR. Amongst 36 artists from around the globe who are promoted in different regions and aided by Spotify’s marketing and editorial reach, Mali’s new song “Age of Limbo” for example has so far got her new fans in regions like Australia, while a new album is expected from When Chai Met Toast later this year.

YouTube Foundry and Lost Stories

A global artist development program as well, Foundry was started by YouTube in 2016, with workshops and content creation sessions at the front. Mumbai’s electronic music duo Lost Stories are now the first Indian artists to be selected for Foundry 2020, whose previous iterations have included artists ranging from Dua Lipa to JPEGMAFIA. All that’s been revealed for now is that Lost Stories will “develop content strategy and engage with fans, with the help of YouTube partner managers and agency partners.” Of course, Lost Stories don’t put all their eggs in one basket, considering they just released their take on folk track “Mai Ni Meriye” with singers Jonita Gandhi and Ashwin Adwani via JioSaavn’s Artist Originals platform.

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OK Listen Waives Its Revenue

A longstanding distributor and music store that’s still running strong, OK Listen waived their revenue cut from purchases made on their store back in April. They decided to carry it forward into May as well and we’re currently seeing artists such as Hindi rock band Naalayak release music exclusively for purchase first via OK Listen before it’s up on other streaming platforms, which might be an interesting experiment for artists who want to gauge how many listeners are willing to buy their music digitally. More details here.

JioSaavn Live Anywhere Up for Streaming

Amongst the early livestream concert series which offered a pay-what-you-want option that went to artists, JioSaavn’s Live Anywhere digital gigs has hosted everyone from Ankur Tewari to fusion band Euphoria’s Palash Sen, Kamakshi Khanna, Anuv Jain and more. Now, the live album from each concert – recorded with the Dolby On app – is up for streaming on the platform, featuring music from 13 artists in all. All revenue generated from the streams on these albums will go straight to the artist. Listen here.

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