Update: Timbre Media tied up with Vodafone to stream ten of its channels over mobile phone for Rs.30 a month. More recently, in October, it tied up with Bharti Airtel to stream them on DTH platform. It will offer 12 channels - each devoted to genres such as Ghazals, Hindi Retro, Devotional and so on - for Rs 35 a month. Internet radio is in the pipeline.
If you missed WorldSpace — satellite radio network that streamed pre-programmed music 24 hours a day through about 40 genre-specific stations — here’s some good news. In September, WorldSpace will be back.
You will have the same old stations that you grew to love — Hindustani music on Gandarv, Carnatic music on Shruti, old Hindi film songs on Farishta and so on — very likely anchored by the same RJs.
In India, WorldSpace had gone on air in 2000 with the subscription-based service gaining a committed fan base slowly and steadily. Towards the end of 2010, when it shut down because of the financial difficulties of its founder, Ethiopia-born lawyer Noah Samara, it had 4.5 lakh customers in India.
Timbre Media, which is re-launching the brand in India in association with Saregama, was started by ex-employees of WorldSpace and has about 80 people from the old set up, says co-founder and CEO M. Sebastian. The re-launch will start with 40 stations and eventually have as many as 120 stations, including sub-categories such as music for cardio-workouts, says Adarsh Gupta, head (music), Saregama.
Great news, but it comes with a catch: You can’t use your old WorldSpace equipment. The new WorldSpace will be streamed through mobile phones, the Internet and direct-to-home television networks.
But it’s time to listen to the radio again.
(This story appears in the 29 July, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from Magzter.com. To visit our Archives, click here.)