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Nokia, IMI join hands for Legends Of India offering

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MUMBAI: Mobile communications service provider Nokia has announced a tie up between its sub multimedia brand Nokia Nseries and the Indian Music Industry (IMI) for a music offering Legends of India. This will be preloaded into the Nseries music edition devices (Nokia N91, N73 and N70).

100 digital rights management *DRM(compliant songs will be provided of over 10 music greats including Jagjit Singh. The genres range from film music to ghazals, devotional songs and remixes. Nokia India di4rector multimedia Vineet Taneja says, "The new initiative will enable us to deliver a premium music experience to our consumers. Music forms a core part of Nokia Nseries' value proposition and consumers can now listen to their favourite artistes on the go anywhere at the click of a button.

"We are confident that our new initiative will contribute towards promoting he music eco-system at large and help the music industry regularise the distribution of legal music content. Mobile music is expected to breathe new life into the country's music industry, which has shrunk from Rs. 1400 crore to Rs.1000 crore in the last four years. Globally mobile music is 10 times larger than iTunes and four times bigger than gaming."

Nokia Nseries devices comply with the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) 2.0 DRM Standard and as a part of Nokia Nseries mobile strategy to safeguard the interests of consumers and the industry at large. Nokia Nseries has entered into agreements with d8iffernt firms to provide music solutions on its music devices. OMA 2.0 the firm says is customisable, allowing rights and usage rules to vary based on the content owners requirements.

Artists present on the album include Jagjit Singh, Asha Bhosle, Lata Mangeshkar, A.R. Rehman, R.D.Burman. IMI chairman Subroto Chatopadhyay says, "We are pleased to partner with Nokia Nseries and would like to thank them for coming forward with this value proposition for the Indian music industry. Music piracy is a growing menace in most markets including India and has grown at an alarming 5rate of 58 per cent in 2005. Our partnership with Nokia Nseries will go a long way in creating a new revenue stream for the industry at large as well as helping curb illegal distribution of music content."

Tips, SaReGama India, and Universal Music and the record firms that have associated themselves in the deal. Taneja adds, "Music on the move plays a key role in enhancing a consumers mobile exoperi9ence and we have endeavoured to offer customers a superior music experience. For instance every Nokia Nseries multimedia device incorporates a music player, high memory capacity and an FM radio. All Nokia Nseries support a wide range of digital music formats including MP3, M4A, AAC and WMA. This allows consumers to interact with their favourite radio station using visual radio.

"With Nokia Nseries users can instantly find and purchase music over the air and download it on their devices from various music stores. They can also simply drag and drop their personal music collections from the computer to their Nokia Nseries device. They can also synchronise their recent music purchases with their computer."

He adds that WiFi enabled Nokia Nseries devices also extend podcasting applications. This allows users to find, subscribe to and download podcasts over the air. For the uninitiated podcasts are digital audio files that can be downloaded and played on mobile devices and computers. Nokia has collaborated with Bose, JBL and Sennheiser for an optimised music experience. Next year Nokia globally will launch the Nokia music experience. This will give consumers devices, applications and the possibility to purchase music in one place.

Taneja adds that Nokia has partnered with HP, Hutch and Radio Mirchi to provide visual radio. He says that globally mobile music will provide a more effective marketing channel than the traditional physical distribution of CD singles. However innovative distribution models are needed to accelerate consumer adoption. The US of course is one of the biggest markets for digital music services with over 18 per cent of fans willing to pay $15 for downloads.

Mobile music is expected to generate revenues of $ 6 billion this year globally. 29 per cent of US consumers own portable music players and 16 per cent are willing to purchase online music. Mobile music is expected to contribute 23 per cent of the Indian music industry's revenues by 2010. Right now traditional channels contribute 92 per cent to the Indian music industry's revenues. Today ringtones form a large chink of the mobile music market. There are 70,000-80,000 ringtone downloads each day.

Music companies pocket 25 per cent of the revenue that each download generates. 45 per cent goes to the mobile operator. 15 per cent goes to the government. Three per cent goes to the creators of the ringtones. 12 per cent goes to the mobile service providers. Young, single male consumers use digital music the most.

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