Starting up stories can range from awesome to outright boring, but none could have a better one than OKListen. Wanting to buy music from an Indian rock band, Vijay realized it was easier said than done. As the only way possible was when the band sent a CD by VPP, as they offered no MP3. A tweet later, the idea came was born and a few months later OKListen launched as a bootstrapped venture.
Founded by Vijay Basrur, who has 16 years of experience working in startups such as Baazee.com (now eBay India), Quikr and Synqua Games, OKListen is a pro-musician digital platform that helps musicians to sell their music directly to their fans and enables music lovers to discover new content from indie artists and support them. He brings with him expertise in e-commerce, mobile business and deep understanding of the consumer behavior in India to OKListen.
The website is plain gorgeous and has a minimalistic learning curve. The album art interface provides direct access to the newly released and the top albums on the homepage itself. Interface is clean and intuitive and provides links to sample the music or download it directly after entering the credentials. The user has the option to buy individual tracks from the album or go for the full album. Features like mobile wallet with extra benefits are there to entice the listener. The price is affordable and is always set by the musician giving him greater remuneration and control on the music he creates. OKListen follows pro-artist model, with 70:30 revenue split with the artist.
Vijay accepts that rampant piracy is a problem and industry as a whole is suffering. But they are betting heavily on the patronage and the support of the indie-music loving community, so much so that all the music on the website is DRM-free and better still it is 320kbps.
They already have names like Raghu Dixit and the band Punkh to boast about, and they are in the late stages of signing-up a number of well-known artists on OKListen and making it appealing as a platform of choice for their digital sales.
Though the band which led to the creation of OKListen, is still not selling their music on the platform. But seeing the kind of buzz that OKListen has generated in its beta stage, we hope that disruption in the music space takes place in India and bands ultimately take the digital plunge.