Nokia Music Connects 2012 discusses digital transformation

| Marketing | November 8, 2012 | News

The fourth edition of Nokia Music Connects, a two-day music forum, was held on Nov. 6-7 at ITC Grand Central, Mumbai. The conference theme was 'Digital Transformation' this year. The summit showcased leading executives from Indian and international labels, digital platforms, live music industry and device manufacturers discussing the current state and the way forward for the music business. For the first time, the forum had an international market spotlight on Australia.

Over these two days, the wide range of topics discussed included the new music ecosystem, emerging online streaming services, new breeds, role of government in music and culture, reviving VAS revenues, electronic dance music, lessons from publishing, lessons from gaming, media segmenting music, creative view on the Copyright Act, monetising piracy, emerging retail outlets, etc. These panel discussions ended with Q&A sessions and tea breaks. To cap off the event, five Australian acts performed at Hard Rock Café in the evening, a few hours after the forum concluded. The bands were Karnivool, Big Scary, Jinja Safari, Sheppard and The Aston Shuffle.

Being a two-day event, the forum had a long list of speakers. On the first day itself some of the moderators and panellists involved were Priyanka Chopra; Adnan Sami; Anil Wanvari and Jasper Donat, Co-founders, Nokia Music Connects; Viral Oza, MD, Nokia India; Vijay Lazarus, President, IMI & PPL; Ralph Simon, CEO, Mobillium Global; Devraj Sanyal, MD, Universal Music Group; Sabbas Joseph, Founder Director, Wizcraft International Entertainment; Anthony Zameczkowski, Head of Music, Youtube APAC; T. Suresh, MD, EMI Music India; Neeraj Roy, MD and CEO, Hungama Digital Media Entertainment; R. Madhusudan, Digital head, Saregama India; Atul Churamani, Content Head, OnMobile; Lavina Tauro, Audio and Music Director, Disney UTV; Kamal Jain, Group CFO, Eros; Mandar Thakur, COO, Times Music; Soumini Paul, AVP, Artist Aloud; Dan Ghosh-Roy, Head of Digital Strategy, Development and Operations, Ultra Music; and Manuj Agarwal, CEO, Percept Live; among others.

On the second day, some of the above names were present as well, apart from the following personalities: Steve Lillywhite, Grammy Award winning producer; Guy Henderson, International SVP, Sony/ATV Music Publishing; Vijay Nair, CEO, OML Entertainment; Rachna Kanwar, SVP and Business Head of Digital Media and New Business, Radio City; Luke Kenny, Head of Programming 9xO, 9xMedia; and Ram Sampath, Music Composer; among others.

India's music market is catching up with the rest of the world, wherein indigenous streaming digital platforms are gaining ground online and on mobile, even as large international players are considering getting into this space. Social media too has emerged as a strong platform for the music industry even as a copyright amendment has become law allowing for a fair share of revenue for the artiste. The live music industry is also beginning to gain traction with festivals catching the eyes of sponsors, advertisers and music lovers. The positive mood in the live industry means that finally international acts have started considering India as a viable touring destination.

With a long list of sponsors and partners, the title partner was Nokia for the fourth consecutive year. The event was co-produced by and Music Matters. It was endorsed and supported by IMI and SIMCA. It was in partnership with IPRS, MMX and PPL. Its media partners were EVENTFAQS Media, IMT and Powered by, Sounds Australia was the panel partner, Aussie BBQ Blurb was the showcase partner, OnMobile was the delegate bag partner, Youtube was the VIP lunch partner, Hummra M was the session partner, MTV India was the music channel partner, Unisys Infosolutions was the name badge partner, MTunes was the entertainment partner, CMCG was the PR partner, and Shiro was the opening party partner. The supporting partners are Casbaa, Branded, Canadian Music Week,, MediaNama, MediAvataar and Music2Deal.

Commenting on the summit, Founder Anil Wanvari said: "There is tremendous value in music. Even as digital transformation is progressing for the Indian music industry, we are confident that the forum nurtured dialogue between all the stakeholders and unearthed the value, and strengthened existing business models while discovering new ones. The music industry is going through quantum change and nowhere is it more exciting than in India. That said, there are still turbulent waters and the forum aims to calm the seas."

With tons of discussions and topics, there were a few thoughts that were the highlights of the event.

Commenting on digital music, Guy Fletcher, Chairman, Publishing Performing Rights Society (PRS), said: "Music publishing companies should strive towards international co-operation and transparency in the digital age of music. In an age where an artist could make music on his laptop without the need for a studio, and where consumer cultures were completely insane, there was a need to sensibly manage the music industry in order to protect the rights, talents and livelihood of thousands of songwriters whose work could be devalued. Against the Internet giant, we are relatively small but the PRS experience in Europe based on co-operation, alliances and transparency is beginning to have impact. India is providing opportunities for PRS with its recording side exploding with new sounds, talents which present extraordinarily exciting opportunities in international music. With its new Copyright amendment, India can learn from the international markets."

Commenting on live music, Vijay Nair, CEO, Only Much Louder said: "Brands are the biggest contributors to the country's burgeoning live act circuit. Live events still survive on brand sponsorship and not ticket sales. Brands are the biggest champions for live music and they contribute from Rs. 600 to 70 million to the Indie-live act circuit. Although live shows are rowing in strength thanks to corporate sponsorship, the business would stabilize only in the next 4-5 years. With successful live festivals like the Barcardi NH 7 under our belt, we are using the same ‘mantra' of promoting Indie artists, OML has expanded to other verticals like television and film production with an objective to cater to the urban youth who are into alternative culture. OML's debut NH 7 fest in Delhi earlier this year saw 10,000 people attending the event."

The fourth edition of the two-day music forum concluded recently.

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