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Nokia Music Connects: New Music Ecosystem; Reviving VAS Revenues

Nokia had organized the fourth edition of Nokia Music Connects which discussed digital transformation among Indian and international labels, digital platforms, live music industry and device manufacturers. Here are some of the highlights from the discussions that took place at the event:

Devraj Sanyal, MD – Universal Music Group, opened the session discussing about Priyanka Chopra’s single that released only on digital platform without a music video hitting quarter million downloads in a month.

Jyrki Rosenberg, VP- Entertainment- Nokia, announced that Idea Cellular will also support telco billing on Nokia Music  Store. Apart from that, he also mentioned that there are about 4.5 million DRM free songs across 26 genres available on the Nokia Music Store and that 1.4 million songs are downloaded everyday from the Nokia Music Store. He also said that Nokia was working on making the music discovery easy rather than just concentrating on related music.

Vijay Lizarus, IMI & PPL President, stated that digital music industry was able to monetize only 7% of consumption as compared to physical music industry which monetizes 90%. He also mentioned that entertainment and media industry in India is at $50 billion and that the industry will be at $100 billion in next five years. He suggested that it can be done if the industry works towards supporting live events. Apart from that, he also said that music industry needs to get government and telecom industry on their side to grow. He suggested that the music industry needs to work on three aspects to grow — make sure nobody takes advantage of content creators, innovate,  and monetize consumption.

The new music ecosystem

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Ralph Simon, CEO Mobillium Global, moderated the panel discussion: The new music ecosystem. He started with applauding the music industry for blocking 104 websites that provided pirated Indian music. He also mentioned that users are in the age of screenagers, that is, viewing multiple screens at a time. Simon was of the opinion that social media changes the way today’s artist promote music and urged them to think mobile+social+local.

Neeraj Roy, MD and CEO of Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt Ltd, started with the fact that TRAI’s directive asking telecom operators explicit consent from subscribers before activating value added services (VAS) on their mobile numbers has resulted in about 65% shrinkage in subscribers since the introduction of the directive. He also said that Hungama.com has about 135 million customers and is the third largest customer base in India.

James Bradbury, Operations director, Entertainment, Nokia, mentioned that Nokia will be approaching the market (in terms of music) as mobile first with Nokia music store. In India, he suggested that about 90% of internet users are through mobile and that there are 400 million internet users in India. He also projected that India will have about 240 million internet enabled smartphones in next 5 years.

Anthony Zameczkowski, Head of Music at YouTube APAC, revealed that about 72 hour of video is uploaded every minute on YouTube. He also revealed that the Gangam Style video by Psy has received 615 million views worldwide out of which only 5 percent coming from Korea. He mentioned that YouTube works because users take responsibility for the videos uploaded. Apart from that, what’s interesting is that he revealed that YouTube gets 1 out of 4 video views from mobile.

T. Suresh, MD – EMI Music India, explained that the new music ecosystem was all about getting consumers to choose from wide variety of music and providing artists a platform. He also mentioned that service providers need to concentrate on International music,citing an example that about 20-30% of music consumption on pull based services such as Nokia Music and Flipkart’s Flyte came from International music.

Reviving VAS revenues

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Anil Wanvari, Founder and CEO of Indian Television dot com group and radioandmusic.com moderated the panel discussion: Reviving VAS Revenues.

Vipul Pradhan, CEO of PPL, reiterated that there’s been about 60% dip in revenue from VAS from telecom operators. However, he also stated that while there has been significant dip in revenue from CRBT it has been in one way or the other compensated from pull based services such as Nokia Music Store.

Shelley Chaudhary, MD Unisys Group, was of an altogether different view that cleaning the system was essential and that not everything should be blamed on VAS providers, and that telecom providers and VAS providers together need to think in a different perspective in providing pull based system.

Moderator Anil Wanvari left the panel with a thought that VAS players, telcos, and content guys should come together to form a body to control happenings in this industry before the regulators impose further restrictions on VAS industry.

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