11th September saw Nokia organize a Blogger Meet for the launch of its Music Store in India. Jasmeet Gandhi, Head Devices OPM and Services, India was there to give us a brief overview of what Nokia Music Store is and how this is the next step of music delivery to millions of people.
The event started and ended with Advaita putting on a spectacular show by playing some of their songs which are incidentally available on Nokia Music Store for download. I found the songs to be very good and I would strongly suggest you to download ’em all. Jasmeet asked them what the word ‘Advaita’ meant, well this is what it means – non-duality, it is a Sanskrit word. They (the band) stated that they are inspired by music that is transcendental.
Nokia’s Music Store is a new approach towards delivering music content to people. Jasmeet mentioned in his brief presentation that the formats for music have changed, but music by itself has not. It is interesting to note that India has close to 1000 movies being launched every year and if you assume 6 songs on an average per movie, we are talking 6000 songs annually, which is quite a number if you ask me.
Mr. Gandhi went on to add that we are at such a point that want our music at our convenience and in our format, and on a portable device. In face today, many of us choose to not pay for music that we own. This means that an artiste performs and creates the music but doesn’t earn anything because everyone wants it free. This is where Nokia comes in, it has the reach and that’s clearly visible with the number of handsets it sells in India. Nokia Music allows the user to download the content he/she wants and that too from a library of 3 million songs (30 lakh songs) which will be increasing regularly now. And with ‘Free tracks of the Week’ one can be assured of something free every week. If you want to listen to a track before buying it then you can actually listen to a 30 second clip of it and then download it. Which means that you know what you are buying.
Mr. Gandhi was also quizzed about why one could not use a credit card at the store, he replied by stating that, the majority of the people (target audience) does not have credit cards, a student for example might not have a credit card, thus making voucher based distribution easier as it allows tapping different forms of distribution, in fact one doesn’t need a PC for it, just a phone. Credit cards were also not expected to give Nokia volumes either. he did however mention that adding that as a payment mode was a minor thing and could be done anytime, if a demand for it arose.
The duration of the music is the tricky part, a song of 7 minutes is considered as one track, increments of 3 minutes thereafter makes the song a 2 track song. Further increment of 3 minutes – 3 track song. What this means is that when you are downloading a song from the store of duration 11 minutes, the store will consider them as 3 tracks and will deduct three tracks from your voucher. This is bit unfair, but I don’t know if many people will object to it or no.
Mr. Gandhi also assured us that by the first quarter of next year we shall see ‘Comes With Music’ branded devices in India. This means the X6 and the X3 will be available from next year.
Overall the event went off great! it was really nice to meet with some old friends. Here are a few photos of the event.The event also saw the launch of a new website to keep people informed of the happening at Nokia Music Store in India, http://millionsongs.co.in.
And if you want to hear and see Advaita, live in concert – here are the videos!