I had been a big fan of Worldspace Radio, when it was around. Loved constant stream of quality genre based music without nagging ad jingles which really take away the pleasure of listening to songs on radio.
However, in its first stint, Worldspace Radio never really took off. Adoption was only in pockets, especially due to the subscription based model and also relatively high initial setting up costs (hardware etc.). You can find excellent article on why Worldspace had to shut down in 2009.
Now, Worldspace is back – According to the press release sent to us – Saregama India and Timbre Media have announced a strategic alliance under which Saregama has acquired a 10% equity stake in Timbre Media and the two parties will partner to provide a high-quality and variety of genre-based radio channels to the Indian market. With this, the Saregama India-Timbre Media alliance brings back the legacy of WORLDSPACE radio.
From the press release it is not very clear as to whether Worldspace will have all genres of music as it had earlier (Jazz, pop etc.). The PR states that it will use Saregama’s library as well as from other popular labels to provide 24-hour stations of Indian music ranging from old hindi films, hindustani classical, Carnatic classical, new hindi music, ghazals and stations in all major Indian languages.
The good aspect about this launch though is that it will be offered in nearly all digital formats unlike previously where you had to buy a separate hardware to enjoy Worldspace music stations. With this alliance in place, Worldspace music will be served in all possible digital formats including Mobile, DTH and the Internet.
This is really music to my ears (literally) – However, everything will depend on the quality of music that this alliance offers to India consumers. If the music played on Worldspace is similar to music played on blaring FM channels, it would not only be counter productive but will also erode loyal Worldspace fan base.
What do you think of this alliance? Do you think we will be lucky enough to get the same kind of quality Worldspace music that we got used to?