New Key Hires Prep Guvera Indonesia for Expanded Business Opportunities

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Earlier in August, streaming music service Guvera revealed some insights regarding its audience and its plans to grow the business in Indonesia. Additionally, the company also announced a new commercial director to lead business development and partnership initiatives in Indonesia.

Guvera in Indonesia began its operations in early 2014 and by July 2015 it has attracted 915,000 users, 85% of which are under 35 years old. Additionally the profile of Guvera’s listeners skews heavily towards male at 64% and in terms of mobile platforms, 84% use Android. Guvera’s audience listens to 64 minutes of streaming music per day.

The company realizes that its real competitors, at least at this stage, are not other streaming services but music piracy. Onny Robert, the company’s head of operations and marketing said that the biggest challenge is to get consumers who are used to pirating music to try out and switch over to a legal service. He believes that a free streaming service such as Guvera will make it easier for people to make that transition.

Physical album is becoming a thing of the past and while digital album had its days, Onny said that streaming is the future of music consumption. “In 2014, 83.8% of music industry revenue in Sweden came from digital”. Sweden of course, is home to Spotify, one of the most popular music streaming services in the world, but has yet to launch in Indonesia.

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“We see a similar trend in Indonesia. What’s is happening here is roughly what happened in Sweden around 2007. It requires two to three years to see significant growth numbers”, Onny said referring to the early days of digital music streaming. The company expects 50% of music revenue in Indonesia to come from digital streaming by mid 2018.

“Many Indonesians are used to pirating music and don’t feel guilty about it, and they tend to say, ‘but I’ve already paid, my credit has been deducted’, for data usage though, not for the music”, Onny said at the media roundtable.

By paying for data access to the mobile operators, many consumers think that they are entitled to consume music or other forms of entertainment freely from any available source, but clearly that is not the case. That is what Guvera intends to address by offering Guvera Play, its ad supported service, since June 2014.

Onny further said while some people may have that sense of entitlement, they are not opposed to receiving advertising. “As long as people get their music for free, they don’t mind having advertising in the service”.

The company also offers Guvera Platinum, a paid service which allows users to create their own music playlists and listen to songs on demand as part of the company’s premium offering as opposed to the radio-like Guvera Play, which offers only playback of existing playlists.

“Guvera Platinum users generally come from iOS. Why? There is a difference in characteristics between iOS and Android users”, Onny said. “On iOS, they are used to paying for content whether through iTunes or other applications from the App Store so you could say that they have no problems paying for music streaming”.

With the majority of its users in Indonesia choosing to stick with Guvera Play, the company has a pressing need to increase the number of its audience to create an attractive base for brands. Guvera expects to attract brands to its platform through its branded profiles and playlists which also allow embedded multimedia and e-commerce components.

The branded channels have been part of Guvera for quite some time but it has yet to make a definite push to acquire clients. With the recent hiring of Shri Prabu Adityawarman as commercial director for Guvera Indonesia, the company expects to see a greater effort in this aspect. Shri Prabu was previously the general manager for online advertising at the Microsoft-Telkom Indonesia news portal partnership UMSN Indonesia.

According to Jennifer Tallariti, Guvera’s commercial head for Asia, the company’s latest funding round will allow the them to develop a much bigger marketing and hiring push in the second half of this year to boost its user base and presence in Indonesia. While the size of the round was not disclosed, Australian Financial Review says that the company has managed to raise AUD80 million since mid 2014.

Guvera plans to add enhancements to its branded channels by including exclusive content, concert videos, clips of behind the scenes activities from musicians and bands, as well as music news updates.