While NSM’s Curve and Infinity jukeboxes artfully represented the manufacturer’s physical presence at this week’s ACOS, it was its two apps – Co-Pilot for operators and NSM Music for their customers – that sales manager Alex Kirby was keen to highlight to an intrigued ACOS crowd.
NSM Music is exhibiting both its range of jukeboxes and its range of jukebox apps at this week’s Autumn Coin Op Show in London.
Just before the first lockdown, the jukebox manufacturer launched a new app called Co-Pilot, developed so operators could manage their jukeboxes remotely. This has been extremely useful for many operators over the last 18 months at a time when remote working and social distancing have been encouraged. NSM sales manager Alex Kirby was delighted to finally be able to explain the app in person to the industry and gave Coinslot a brief overview of the operator jukebox management app, Co-Pilot.
“The App gives 3 levels of security access; operator/collector, engineer and location staff,” he explained. “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.”
Kirby added that NSM is confident that Co-Pilot will revolutionise the way jukeboxes are operated and maintained, and that many of the operators it serves have already started wondering how they managed without it. However, it’s not only operators who have been treated to a new app, but their customers too. The latest version of NSM’s Jukebox App, now called NSM Music, has been upgraded with “lots of improvements”, with the intention to appeal not only to millennials and future generations of pub-goers, but to the older generations too. Kirby says the new look and feel is similar to the heavily downloaded and highly popular music apps such as Apple Music, Spotify, and others.
“We have designed the brand-new app, with new features, and that is ready for future updates. We’ve also addressed wishlist items that our customers have been requesting for a long time – and more besides that they will be excited to experience,” explained Kirby, adding: “We have also simplified the onboarding process, making it much easier for new users to get signed up and running fast, and we have made the process of selecting music faster and have implemented features to customise the jukebox music experience for each user.”
NSM has also placed an emphasis on boosting jukebox revenue by prominently featuring higher cost items, which Kirby said allowed users to select multiple songs for play at once, and gave them more payment options. The manufacturer has so far received great feedback for the NSM Music app from both operators and their customers, with its popularity resulting in revenue increases across the board.
“You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone”: The music is back, demand is high, but supply issues remain
Coinslot: It was a truncated, albeit frenetic season. How has business been for NSM this summer?
Alex Kirby, sales manager at NSM: We have had an excellent summer with jukebox sales and activations.
Everybody knows the famous phrase “you don’t know what you’ve got until its gone”. This was certainly the case when it came to a ban on music being played in UK venues. As I am sure you are aware, some councils placed bans on music being played to the public in pubs and bars just after the lockdown was lifted. This really put the spotlight on how important jukeboxes and background music is for locations to create that right ambience which is inviting relaxing and even exciting for customers.
The feedback we got from operators was, where music was banned, customers were just not staying in the bars and it was having quite the negative impact not only the fruit machines’ collections but also wet sales.
This has certainly proved the value of music to licensees and operators and we believe this is part of the reason for the current high demand for jukeboxes.
CS: We cannot avoid the subject of transportation costs and delays. Is it one that affects NSM at all?
AK: Yes, it has affected our stock delivery very hard, not only the time it takes to get stock but the costs have also risen dramatically.
A container used to cost us sub £2,000, the same container today costs us over £13,000. We will do our best to absorb theses increased costs but, there may come a time in the near future where we may have to pass them on.
CS: Looking forward a little, what are NSM’s growth plans – are you looking at new markets and new products?
AK: Our focus for the next 6 months is supporting UK business. We have seen a high demand for music solutions, especially the Curve Jukebox since lockdown was lifted in May. This has been driven by customers upgrading their old outdated digital jukeboxes so that they can benefit from all the latest features and apps that we have to offer.
Our European expansion unfortunately has been slowed due to the pandemic, but we see ourselves driving this expansion once again once we have got a hold of the new demand in our domestic market.