Play It Again, Sam? Nokia Launches Free Music Streaming Service In U.S.

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Nokia didn’t fare so well with its streamed mobile music service called Ovi Music Unlimited. Now it’s remixing that track and launching a free music streaming service in the U.S. as part of its redoubled strategy to go for more users in America. The news comes one day before the company’s Nokia World event in New York, where it is expected to unveil new handsets on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

The service will feature 150 pre-set playlists, the ability for users to create their own playlists, and a ‘gig finder’ for live events. Naturally, it’s being aimed at Nokia device owners, with downloads available for Nokia Lumia 900 or Nokia Lumia 710 owners.

However, the company has made a big point of encouraging others using the Windows Phone platform to also adopt its services, so we may see it have wider availability in Microsoft’s app store as a result.

The Nokia Music app — yet to actually hit the Marketplace at the time of writing — will be ad- and subscription-free. It will also give users the ability to listen to playlists offline. It will draw on a catalog of some 15 million songs.

While the service is one way for Nokia to lure more users to its new smartphone devices, it is also a way to get them using Nokia’s other music services. Nokia also has an MP3 store where it offers downloads for a price, similar to iTunes for Apple.

Potentially, the gig-finding service — which already uses Nokia’s mapping functions — could also link in with purchases from that MP3 store, as well as other mobile-commerce around merchandise and even tickets to the gigs themselves.

The streaming portion is being powered by Echo Nest, which signed a deal last year to power the MixRadio service that comes preloaded with Nokia Music on Windows Phone and is available in 50 countries. Echo Nest says it uses an algorithm to process some 5 billion data points across 30 million songs and other sources to create its playlists and intelligent recommendations.

And as a sign that AT&T may figure prominently in tomorrow’s news, Nokia says in the release (embedded below) that it will also be announcing a partnership with the carrier and the mainstream faux-edgy band Green Day to create exclusive playlists and perform a concert exclusive to AT&T customers, to help promote the new music service.

Nokia debuts free music streaming service in the USA

NEW YORK, NY – Nokia today announced the launch of its free music streaming service Nokia Music in the USA. Nokia Music is a free mobile experience exclusive to Nokia Lumia handsets, providing consumers with a simple and delightful way to discover and enjoy music.

Consumers can stream music from a suite of over 150 exclusive playlists that are curated and kept up to date by an expert team of US based musicologists. The playlists span a wide spectrum of musical genres from underground Detroit house tracks to New York Philharmonic favorites. Nokia Music also offers playlists created by global artists such as Lana Del Rey, Lady Gaga and Rihanna.

Beyond the curated playlists, music fans can create their own personal soundtrack by selecting the Nokia Music ‘CREATE’ function that taps a library of millions of songs and generates a playlist based on, and inspired by, the artists they love.

Completely advertisement-free, and requiring no registration or subscription, Nokia Music lets consumers immerse themselves in the dulcet tones of their favorite artists without being disrupted.

For maximum convenience, Nokia Music playlists can also be enjoyed offline so consumers can listen to their favorite playlists anytime, anywhere – perfect for a long flight, journey to work or train ride.

To enhance their music experience further, consumers can use Nokia Music’s ‘GIG FINDER’, which locates a consumer’s position and pinpoints live concerts, gigs and shows taking place in their local area, taking their level of interaction with their favorite artists beyond the playlist and Nokia Music’s mp3 store.

“The USA is the most vibrant and competitive digital music market in the world – by a wide margin. We have worked extra hard to ensure our service meets the expectations of the demanding, active and inspired music fans in the USA. I would like to challenge everyone to try Nokia Music and see just how easy and enjoyable the service is to use,” says Jyrki Rosenberg, VP of Entertainment at Nokia.

Consumers who already own a Nokia Lumia 900 or Nokia Lumia 710 can download the Nokia Music app for free from Marketplace.

A separate announcement today will unveil a collaboration between Nokia Music, AT&T and Green Day around the band’s new album Uno. The promotion will see Green Day perform an exclusive concert and provide exclusive playlists to Nokia Music for AT&T consumers.

About Nokia
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia’s technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia