As Brits prepare to get back to the boogey in pubs, clubs and bars across the country, NSM Music have been as busy as ever supplying the beats and the boxes – including the company’s latest Curve model – to anticipation-filled operators as they prepare their venues for 18 months of pent-up party. Sales manager Alex Kirby talks to Coinslot about the return to action.
NSM Music has seen a “big lift” in music subscriptions and new jukebox sales as it prepares customers with its Curve model and all the latest hits ahead of Britain’s final unlocking date, now set for 19 July.
The last 18 months have seen the jukebox manufacturer’s key markets devastated by lockdowns and restrictions, and while NSM has supported its customers throughout the difficult period, sales manager Alex Kirby is looking forward to a return to better days for the hospitality industry as the fog of social distancing, capacity limits and curfews fades away.
“Everybody knows the famous phrase “you don’t know what you have got until it’s gone”; this is definitely the case when it comes to local pubs,” he said. “The pandemic has really shown the true value of local pubs and in fact the entire hospitality sector, this together with travel restrictions and staycations, we predict a real boom for the pubs, restaurants and hospitality sector.”
The figures at NSM certainly show a sector preparing for a big summer, with sales of the new Curve jukebox in particular indicating the industry’s desire to impress once customers flock back on freedom day.
“Since May we have experienced a big lift in music subscriptions and surprisingly also new jukebox sales. It really is business as usual for NSM,” continued Kirby. “As we have throughout the pandemic we will continue to support operators the best we can as restrictions lift.”
One potentially lasting effect of the pandemic, however, will be customers’ desire for contactless play and payments. The former is achieved via NSM’s app, which is set to be improved just in time for Britain’s grand reopening, and the latter is offered on the manufacturer’s entire range of jukeboxes.
“The pandemic has really accelerated the appetite for jukebox app’s and contactless payment technology,” explained Kirby. “We are simply embracing this behavioural shift and have developed an all new improved app which is currently being tested before our launch in late July as well as offering contactless payment hardware on our entire new jukebox range.”
As well as the obvious hygienic benefits of contactless play, the NSM app also makes it easier for large numbers of music lovers to find and queue their favourite tracks all at the same time – a feature that will no doubt be appreciated once the party starts on 19 July.
Alex Kirby: Back to business, and beyond
Coinslot: On your current offering, what’s gaining traction in the market and how is the market responding to the portfolio?
Alex Kirby, sales manager at NSM Music: During the 2020 EAG we premiered our latest addition to our jukebox range “Curve”. The name came from its unique curved aesthetics which together with its eye catching sound to light perimeter demands your attention.
Since the day of its launch it has been our bestselling jukebox outperforming all our other models.
This combined with the Lightning, Thunder, 3 years warranty and 5 years warranty on the solid state hard drive, we have never offered such an exciting range of digital jukeboxes.
CS: You’ve been pioneers in the music sector for decades now, what’s on the NSM product development plan?
AK: Just before the first lockdown we launched a new app called Co-Pilot which was developed so operators could manage their jukeboxes remotely.
The App gives 3 levels of security access; operator/collector, engineer and location staff.
For example, operators can give the location staff level 3 access which gives them the capability to use co-pilot as a remote control, now they can pause, reject, change the volume or even reboot the jukebox all from their phone.
They will also be able to use the app to create adverts by choosing from thousands of our predefined templates – they can even use their own photos.
Over the next few years we will continue to develop this powerful tool and add many new exciting features.
We believe that Co-Pilot will revolutionise the way jukeboxes are operated and maintained and NSM customers will soon wonder how they managed without it.
CS: There’s still a lot of concerns around the industry for the next year or two especially over inflation, shipping supplies and the pace of recovery. Looking at the NSM business in general, where are the growth areas for the music and jukebox sector and are there markets still to open up?
AK: We are in a great position at the moment. Just before the pandemic hit we had seen such a big rise in new jukebox sales especially on the Curve, this rise on sales prompted us to step up production and manufacture larger numbers of jukeboxes.
Because of this we now have great levels of stock which has protected us from the component shortage and expensive shipping which you are hearing about on the news. This forward thinking and a bit of good luck has protected us and our customers from price increases for the foreseeable future.
Over the next few years, we see growth in Europe but still there is a lot of business to gain here in the UK, especially with pubs having this new level of popularity created by the pandemic lockdowns.