CHENNAI: Musician Ritvik Raja always has his music player at hand when he is touring to give Carnatic concerts. But on the days he forgets his iPod, Raja flips through a few online radio stations that play Carnatic music 24×7 and settles on one of them to get his dose of classical songs.
“The audience for Carnatic music is getting bigger,” says musician K N Shashikiran, who recently launched a channel dedicated to Carnatic music. “Earlier, the market was mainly in the US but now there are regular concerts being held in countries like New Zealand and Australia.”
The Carnatic Channel, launched on November 12, is broadcast on www.radiowalla.in and features live events, concerts and full-length shows, says Shashikiran, creative head. He will curate the subscription channel along with upcoming singer Deepika V. Another such channel, www.ctunesfm.com, was launched in January by Charsur Digital Workstation, a city arts foundation. Other channels include www.carnaticradio.com, www.sangeethapriya.org and www.sunaadaradio.com.
Internet radio stations are catering to a select but growing set of listeners. “Most FM channels have only film songs. Now, if I miss those few slots where FM channels play Carnatic music, I can go online,” says Raja.
The biggest consumers of these channels are Indians settled abroad. “Many of them, who cannot come down for the December music season can listen to the concerts live as we are tying up with some sabhas to broadcast them,” says Shashikiran of Carnatica Brothers, a vocalist duo. The channel broadcast concerts from the recently-concluded Bharat Sangeet Utsav 2012 from Sri Parthsarathy Swami Sabha.