“So simple your cat will be headbanging to Abida Parveen in no time.”
Patari is a Pakistan-exclusive music portal that offers streaming music to users. It’s primary focus is to promote independent artists that often slip through the cracks on similar platforms like Spotify, and to give users an easy way to find their favorite tunes. When downloaded illegally, artists receive no exposure and no compensation for their work. But with Patari, artists get a cut of the revenue.
Patari‘s cofounders are Khalid Bajwa, Humayun Haroon, Faisal Sherjan, and Iqbal Talaat. Khalid Bajwa is a programmer, animator, and filmmaker. He’s “not delusional,” his Twitter heading informs us – he’s just an entrepreneur. Patari’s bold and colorful interface is no surprise, considering the team’s interest in quality design.
With the sluggish decline of Pakistan’s music industry, Patari couldn’t have come at a better time to spruce things up. So far, the site has had over 20,000 sign-ups, and has given thousands of Pakistani artists airtime and exposure. Artists featured on Patari have since gone viral, sparking newfound interest in independent music, and creating a new outlet for artists to get paid.
However, success came slow for Patari, and there was no shortage of effort involved in getting the startup off the ground. The initial idea was to create a platform for Pakistan drama serials, but after repeated rejections and financial limitations, the founders were forced to pivot.
Following a tip from Faisal Sherjan of Jang Group, Patari shifted to become a music platform. “Everyone and their phuppa is doing TV, think music! No one is doing that,” Sherjan told the founders.
The startup also got help from Plan 9, a Lahore-based incubator program for new startups. Much of Patari’s publicity seems to come from online word-of-mouth, as young music fans reference the portal and its artists in social media conversations. They’ve never advertised, and at this rate, it seems like the group may never need to.
Patari workers have created playlists based on genre, year, mood, and other categorizations to help users get to know local music. Users can follow artists, receive notifications about new music, and search for new artists to add to their collection.
Now that they’ve attained initial success, the Patari founders plan to move away from beta in the near future, and they have several new features in the works. Their primary interest lies in attracting new users and growing a larger community of music fans.
“We are implementing some critical new features like recommendation engine, social networking, and apps are a high priority, integration with telecoms for payment,” Khalid told Instep Today.
The founders also plan to open Patari up to the public, offering downloads, and adding 20,000 songs to their current selection of about 20,000. This is said to be the most extensive collection of Pakistan music available.