This Startup Develops India’s First Independent Music Content App for Fans, Artists, Producers and Labels

Soumini Paul, Vice President, ArtistAloud
Soumini Paul, Vice President, ArtistAloud

We are publishing an interview of Ms. Soumini Paul, Vice President, ArtistAloud.

About Ms. Soumini Paul

Soumini Paul, Vice President, ArtistAloud
Soumini Paul, Vice President, ArtistAloud

Soumini Sridhara Paul is Vice President of the Talent and Independent content platform, Artist Aloud, Hungama. Launched in January 2010, Soumini has spearheaded the set up of Artist Aloud, South Asia’s premier digital platform for established and new talent with audio and video content along with a dedicated team. She also recently took on the role of Head of Operations and Content Programming for YouTube for Hungama and Special Content Creation projects for Hungama. She has over 20 years experience as a Pop Artist, Artist Manager as well as assignments with Channel [V] and Universal Music. Soumini has been dabbling into writing, as a hobby for the last 5 years and Disha The Challenge is her first ever-published work through Partridge. She started her artistic stint as a singer almost 20 years back but chose to work in other aspects of the industry to gain knowledge and experience of the content and talent industry in its whole.

What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem? 
The Independent music and talent space had pretty much reached a dead end around the late 2000s. Artists were still creating new content but were putting it out more on social platforms rather than releasing it officially. Record labels who were involved in the A&R were pretty much controlling what the artist should create with the artist bearing the cost in most cases. Hungama was one company that had a robust and global distribution network that I believed could be offered to Independent Artists who were either not getting an official release or were not interested in one through the existing music industry. Hence Artist Aloud was born with the philosophy of multi lingual, multi genre and multi talent allowing the talent to own their content and have the complete freedom of expression and creativity while we stepped in to distribute, promote and amplify the talent and their content.

What is the uniqueness about your Startup? 
Artist Aloud is a platform for distribution, promotion and on ground dedicated to talent with independent content. We were the first players offering distribution to Independent Artists through the digital space giving talent an opportunity to showcase themselves through original content. While other talent platforms are only about talent allowing people to do covers, we propagate originality and play our part in moderating to ensure only good content gets a commercial showcase and reaches out to consumers.

What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process. 
Artist Aloud is a brand that has its presence across acquisition, distribution, promotions, on ground events and Talent Booking. The need to build this kind of a model was to be able to build an ecosystem that we can use and monetise across because the same does not exist. Hence each area generates revenue. We treat acquisition, distribution and promotions as a service charging the artist for the same and delivering on areas that have been commercially purchased to show ROI to the investment made by the artist. With regards to Talent Booking we represent the industry non-exclusively offering competitive rates from the artist for clients as per the requirement including coordinating and managing the artists for the projects commissioned to the artist. On ground IPs have revenue models including ticketing and/or sponsorship.

Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them? 
Artist Aloud believes that while everyone has always had talent, we are at a time now where people are not shy to put themselves out there. Also with social media today, everyone has a following – be it friends and family or pure fans that grow on and on. Also while in a country like India, Bollywood is strong, the independent space has become more and More relevant to the Bollywood singers as well as they need to sustain their careers with their own work and not be so dependent on films. Hence through our App, our objective is to reach out to consumers with talent as well as consumers who are looking for fresh sounds and handpicked content – the market for which is growing. By distributing the content through our B2B partners, we are allowing the consumer to experience the same content in the destinations where they want to be.

What is the big picture of your startup? Will it lead to something bigger? If so, how? 
Artist Aloud has always believed that the Independent space is anything non-Bollywood especially since it was born in a country like India. The need of the hour is to build a parallel industry to Bollywood across all touch points including digital and traditional media as well as on ground along with select IPs that are dedicated to the talent and independent content space. While this is available in bits and pieces in mainstream platforms, having a dedicated platform and brand for the talent and independent content space helps it to be segregated from mainstream Bollywood and also gives talent its own standing.

What is the success story of your startup in your own words? 
I believe the key aspects to Artist Aloud’s existence are:

  • Prudence
  • Honestly
  • Tenacity
  • Creativity
  • Dedication
  • Passion
  • Partnerships
  • Strong and committed relationships
  • Delivery as per commitment

Any other information about your startup that you would like to share with us.
My aim is to be able to keep doing and adding more frills to the platform. And most importantly stay relevant and alive. If we cannot exist we cannot achieve. Visit for more details.

Thanks Ms. Paul. Best of luck!