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Rediff.com  » Business » Want to be the next Indian Idol? Here's help

Want to be the next Indian Idol? Here's help

Last updated on: February 4, 2011 15:48 IST

Want to be the next Indian Idol? Here's help

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Puja Banta in Mumbai


Bathroom singers rejoice! Here's some good news for you. You can now hone your singing skills online. Thanks to the innovative concept of karaoke gaming, now you can not only practice singing online, but also get scores and feedback on your performance.

Moreover, you can challenge your friends to compete with you and beat your score. One of the fastest growing Indian web sites in this space is Singchana.com.

It is the dream project of brothers Hitesh and Vikram Mehta who are working very hard to acquire a big pie of the lucrative online karaoke space in India. They talk about their business plans in a chat with Rediff.com.

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Image: Hitesh and Vikram Mehta.

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What is Singchana and how does it work?

Singchana.com is a free online karaoke gaming portal that allows users to sing Hindi and English songs, as well as smaller-but-growing numbers of songs in other languages, including Marathi, Gujarati, and Punjabi, and even French, Spanish, and German.

To join in the game, users create a profile on the site and then sing a song in typical karaoke fashion- see the lyrics on the screen, and sing into their microphones.

However, this is karaoke gaming, so singers see their pitch relative to that of the original singer, and are scored on how close they come to the reference notes. Further, their performance is ranked relative to those of everyone else who's sung the song.

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What kind of music is popular on your site?

We maintain an ever-expanding library of recent chartbusters, but we see old Bollywood songs getting a lot of traction, and we're mindful of that when creating the site's song collection.

There is a lot of demand for Rafi, Mukesh and Kishore Kumar songs from users over 30 years of age. But the younger lot want contemporary Bollywood and English songs.

Singchana also records the singer's voice, which (unless they choose to keep it private) can be played back for them or any other members on the site.

It's features like these that we think keep users coming back, and it is easy to listen to the latest from fellow users -- just click under the "Recent Recordings" heading on the front page.

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How do you market Singchana?

To create awareness, we do live events. We have held a number of karaoke events at venues in Mumbai, Goa, Pune, and Delhi.

We conducted an event for journalists at the XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Delhi.

We have also run multi-day events at Waves 2010 at BITS Pilani, Goa Campus; Kiran at KC College in Churchgate; and Malhar at St. Xavier's. Other than this, we use social media to spread the word about Singchana.

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What will be your revenue streams from Singchana?

Our revenues will come from both advertising and subscriptions. We have just launched a VIP membership which is subscription based.

For a monthly fee of Rs 180, the users can avail premium benefits like priority access to new songs, access to the full catalogue and recording their songs on a CD.

What are your future plans?

As high-speed internet connections in India are becoming more prevalent and faster, we expect Singchana's popularity to grow.

We expected a big market amongst NRIs in the United States and the United Kingdom, but we have found that Singchana is acquiring members from countries around the world, even those without large numbers of Hindi or English native speakers.



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