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What are you downloading next?

March 23, 2006 12:22 IST

Punjabi pop, heavy metal, hard rock and tuneless songs from some of the recent Hindi flicks. These are some genres that lack appeal, especially when it blares from your mobile phone into the eardrums of the caller.

For more evolved tastes, Airtel, in partnership with Music Today, is offering a new genre of music - Indian classical - to its 20 million-odd subscribers.

"The business of ringtones," says Hemant Sachdev, director, marketing & communications, "is helping India to soar to a new global position."

Promoting the Indian classical genre at the announcement were music maestros Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma. Airtel subscribers can download various genres in Indian classical music including thumri, dadra and khayal, besides Carnatic music too.

"We have been working on this initiative for the past six months," confirms Gurmeet Singh, business director, Music Today. The music company has snipped nearly 100 classical tunes to 35-40 seconds pieces for Airtel and is already working on another 100 melodies to be edited especially for ringtones.

"We will work on a revenue sharing basis," says Singh, adding, "75 per cent will be with the subscriber while 25 per cent of each download will come to us."

Some of the artists whose tracks will be available for downloads include Pt Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Allah Rakha, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt Bhimsen Joshi and Pt Jasraj.

This initiative adds to Airtel's 'Easy Music' service where special outlets with a library of over 18,000 songs in multiple languages have been set up to simplify the process of downloading music.

Santoor, aalap, bansuri or the sarod, with plenty to choose from, what are you downloading next?
Abhilasha Ojha in New Delhi
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