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Music streaming is gathering momentum in India, feel music experts

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MUMBAI: At the 6th edition of MixRadio Music Connects, one of the leading panel discussions touched on the topic of streaming music in the country. The objective behind the discussion was to find out what the future of music entailed and study the growth of music streaming in India so far.

The panelists included MixRadio senior product manager Melissa Price, Believe Digital head of sales in Asia Sylvain Delange, RDIO vice president of emerging markets  Snehal Shinde, Guevera founder and director of innovation Claes Loberg and was moderated by Times Music chief operating officer Mandar Thakur.

The session discussed the potential of streaming music, a way of delivering music without the need to download files of different audio formats.

Thakur introduced the session by providing a background on streaming. He said, “Often music streaming is looked upon as a tremendous blessing or a mysterious key to the great digital future. But in the last decade or so, we have been losing consumers. However, there has been the emergence of many music streaming services with many different characteristics and potential.”

Speaking about the different services, Shinde added his opinions on what makes RDIO stand out. He said, “We are a radio first service, so it’s all about giving users a laid-back experience and we achieve that by providing users with rich curated radio stations.  We play songs that people like to listen to.”

Loberg shared his thoughts about the potential of Guvera, an Australian based music streaming service, which has officially launching in India today. “We have very innovative tools and we will make it easy for users to discover, share and manage the music they love,” he said.

Price talked about the evolution of Nokia Music and said, “We had a long history in the music space. We started our transformation in 2010 when we studied the music streaming space. We focused on determining the easiest way for people to listen to music. Last year, we brought to forefront a feature of Nokia music – Play Me that is the ultimate feature in providing the laid back experience. All you have to do is open the app and it’ll keep you entertained providing your own personal radio station with just one click.”

Price also added that customised meta data can help in the profiling of an artist. She said, “Good representation of the artists is important as it allows people to discover new talents and understand the existing ones. By promoting artists well, people would want to find out more about them. It increases curiosity. Things like images, biographies and Twitter handles are very important. It is important to get the meta data right in order to also know the kind of people you are connecting with to the music.”

Delange, who is heading a team of 10 music label managers in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and China, gave an overview of the role of his company in achieving a key market position in Asia. He said, “It’s really about making the product available. Our main role is to deliver the content, in order to make it available and visible on all the relevant platforms. We help the artistes and labels to understand their audiences and the marketing processes. We package the best products and ensure that everything is pitch-perfect in order to get the best results”.

The discussion then moved to the importance of social media in a world that that is increasingly being run by algorithms and lesser by humans.

 Shinde opined, “Facebook likes can be quite deceiving but social media does make content accessible to a wide range of people. The artistes themselves have to be constantly in touch with their fan base. They need to engage through their social networks.”

Melissa elaborated on the importance of knowing latest trends and aliasing with bloggers to promote the content.  “You need to understand the importance of a fan base. When we deliver music, we are delivering it to the fans.  At MixRadio, we have a great team in India that keeps in touch with labels. It is important to know what is trending and what is popular,” she added. In her concluding remarks she said that they were working with significant bloggers who  recommended  the music to their fans  and as a result the number of listeners had increased.

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