Singa CEO Atte Hujanen: Figure out the leverage that you need and the leverage you have
Why don’t you briefly introduce yourself and Singa to our readers?
Why did you decide to start a company?
I had previously worked with a lot of karaoke companies and in the beginning, it always boggled my mind as to how analog and hardware-driven the entire industry was, nobody was looking to innovate at all! After a while I realized that it was a whole business model: if no one innovates, then people will just have to settle for whatever the industry is selling at a high margin because karaoke as a hobby wasn’t going anywhere.
At the same time Spotify, Netflix, Audible, and all sorts of other streaming media services were popping up and supercharging the user experience. We saw an opportunity to become the Spotify for karaoke and went for it.
What is the vision behind Singa?
We’re building Singa to be the leading brand in karaoke, the operating system for karaoke, if you will. Do you want to sing the largest selection of songs in the world on any device? Singa. Do you want to run your karaoke bar with the most advanced karaoke system in the world? Singa. Do you want to tap into the newfound revenue streams of karaoke as an artist? Singa.
From idea to launch, what have been the biggest challenges so far and how have you financed yourself?
Singa operates in the world of copyrights and copyright law is one of the most well-established legal frameworks in the world. It’s also one of the most treacherous ones if you don’t know what you’re doing and aren’t complying with the rules. By far the biggest challenge in building anything that deals with copyrights isn’t necessarily the technological innovation, it’s the service model innovation coupled with copyright clearance in a way that keeps you out of trouble.
It took Spotify over three years and literally hundreds of millions to launch in the US – it took us less than two years and to date, Singa has only raised 10M€. Through tenacity and hard work, we’ve been able to thread the needle of raising minimum amounts of external funding, while achieving more than most music tech companies ever will (no hyperbole here).
Who is Singa’s target audience?
Karaoke is a massive global hobby that’s only grown in popularity decade after decade. While Singa’s immediate audience is of course the people who like to sing often (alone or with friends) and the venues that already run karaoke (or entertainment similar to karaoke), there’s a growing trend of people across the globe associating karaoke more with just having good fun with the music that you love.
It might be because of TikTok or the remixification of everything, but karaoke is being seen more and more as a thing that young, old, cool, and boring people do. I’m not saying that in a few years’ time, everyone will be doing karaoke, but there’s a trend rising that will most likely surprise most!
How does Singa work? What are the advantages? What sets you apart from other providers?
Singa has by far the largest legal karaoke in the history of the karaoke industry. Singa works on any platform through monthly premium streaming and is the first karaoke service in the history of the industry to also feature (an increasing list of) original recordings directly from the artists.
Singa, where is it headed? Where do you see yourself in five years?
There are karaoke companies in Asia that do over $1B in annual revenue. We want to be the global leader in all things karaoke and outshine the incumbent karaoke companies in the next five years.
In conclusion: What 3 tips would you give to aspiring founders?
For aspiring founders, my three tips would be: 1. think from first principles, what are the one or two things that make up most of the value to your end customer or solve most of the problem you’re going after. 2. figure out the leverage that you need and the leverage you have, not all problems require the same solution (some problems are hard, some are just expensive and some need a lot of experimentation). 3. never run out of money, because if you do, then it’s game over and everything you’ve achieved until then will become worthless.
Singa organises an investor webinar on Wednesday 7 June 2023 at 4:30 p.m. CEST where the founder and Managing Director of Deliberate PR Benjamin Webb interviews Singa CEO Atte Hujanen and COO Nils Paajanen. Click here to join the webinar.
Thank you Atte Hujanen for the Interview
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.