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#NAMA: Vijay Nair & Shreyas Srinivasan On NH7 & The Music Scene

Discussing the music scene, the increase in digital and on-ground uptake, and future plans, Vijay Nair, and Shreyas Srinivasan of Only Much Louder (OML), the company behind NH7, interacted with Kushan Mitra of the Pioneer, in a candid session at the #NAMA conference. Some notes from the session:

On plans to launch a print magazine: Vijay Nair informed that the company was planning a print publication. On being asked why enter an already crowded segement, Nair responded that NH7’s online magazine was doing well, with a large community of users.

On the Indian music Industry: Nair said that he felt that the music industry in India existed as a support system for the Hindi film industry and Bollywood, and that NH7’s aim was to develop anything that was other than Bollywood. The company targeted a niche segment of listeners, and was happy with the response it got from them.

On NH7 the website: He informed that the site records 120,000 uniques in a month and has an audience size of half a million billion. Elaborating on NH7’s intent, Shreyas talked about building a music community around the independent music scene, and said that a person’s identity is increasingly being defined by the kind of music he listens to. He also added that NH7’s music store on Flipkart was doing well, and that the company was launching a mobile app (it was showcased as a part of #alpha. More on that in one of our upcoming posts).

Nair added that NH7 was in the business of content and didn’t draw a line between offline and online operations. He said that NH7 was managing 100 artists and everyone was making more money than they used to 10 years ago

On Piracy revolutionising the music industry: Nair was candid in saying that music piracy was one of the major reasons everything changed. The emergence of digital music and efforts to sell it legally opened up the scene to new artists. However, Nair was of the view that music should be given away for free, and bands and artists should earn through events and live shows, and that the revenue earned from music sales can be matched with a few concerts. He said that there was too much effort in trying to sell music. Shreyas also talked about YouTube emerging as the largest content discovery destination, which has levelled the field for new artists.

On what film companies/music labels should do: Nair stated that NH7 was not averse to marketing film music, but what works for independent artists might or might not work for films. On the hypothetical qquestion of what NH7 would do with film music, Nair said that it was difficult to say but he would certainly invest in new artists.

On more artists/bands performing in India: Nair talked about the success of music events, and how more artists were performing this year than the combined total in the last five years. He said that artists and event organisers need to be realistic in building an audience, and they’ll succeed, and that there’s a need to limit the number of people attending concerts. He cited the example of Swedish House Mafia’s upcoming concert, which clocked ticket sales of 10,000 in a day.

On advertising in main stream media: Shreyas said that for NH7, print ads increase credibility but conversations mainly happen digitally. ” A newspaper ad makes people believe that the event will surely happen, while we actually reach out digitally.”


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