New channel InSync to focus on classical music

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | May 23, 2013
In the near future, it will also include western classical music formats in its programming line-up.

Musical events management company Perfect Octave has announced the launch of a pay channel that will focus on classical music content . Christened InSync, the channel will be initially launched on digital cable and later gradually extended to the DTH platforms. To be launched in June, the channel is available on test runs on InCable and Hathway. The channel will be launched in a phased manner, starting from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Gujarat and some parts of Punjab.

While InSync will completely focus on classical music, it will have a mix of talent hunt shows, Bollywood music and ragas. Approximately 30 per cent of the total programming will be based on talent hunt shows. From Bollywood, only the classical raga-based songs will be chosen to be played on the channel.

The channel will be launched with 300 hours of content line-up including contests, music education, talk shows, interviews, short films based on musicians' life sketches, thematic musical concerts like 'Bandishon ki Antakshari', food and music, classical trekking and music and many more.

InSync will also showcase the lives and works of musicians such as Pt Shivkumar Sharma, Ustad Ghulam Ali, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Rashid Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pt. Jasraj and Shankar Mahadevan. Apart from these, a few young upcoming and promising artists have also recorded for the channel.

Ratish Tagde

Having been in event management since 1932 (earlier operating as Saraswati Sangeet Vidyalaya), the company owns rare video footage worth close to Rs 52 crore. "Going forward, we will include western classical music and jazz, which are pure forms of music, too. There are also many forms of music and even instruments internationally. We intend to bring this unique international music experience to India," states Ratish Tagde, founder, InSync.

The channel will also conduct jamming sessions with foreign musicians, for example Indian kathak dance and tap dancing, African drums/Indian percussion instruments and Indian violin/international violin, among such other combinations. The company has already signed some of the foreign artists for promotion in India.

InSync aims to tap wide age-groups by consciously structuring the Fixed Point Chart (FPC-time-wise, day-wise programming schedules) to cater to a variety of target groups. However, its primary objective will be to target the youth community and therefore the packaging of this Indian classical music content is very youthful. The channel will cover early morning devotional music to attract the older age group of 45+, classical and ghazals for the 35 plus age group, fusion, sufi and some Bollywood music for the 20 plus age group.

"Initially we are spending money on making the channel available on all platforms. Later, we will launch concerts in a couple of cities with music maestros. To start with, we are planning a series of fusion and classical music concerts in at least five cities as a part of the launch," informs Tagde. While he refused to talk about the exact financial details, he adds that the channel expects to break-even within two years.

Considering the musical programming mix of the channel, Tagde expects advertisers from categories like auto, banking and financial services institutions (BFSI), telecom, handset-manufacturers and others.

The company is also looking at taking the channel to international markets and for the South Indian music community, it plans to launch a dedicated channel on Carnatic music very soon.

The channel has partnered with Aidem Ventures to sell airtime and other advertising. In addition to this, the channel will work with brands to create advertiser funded programming (AFP) opportunities and customised events.

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