Jyrki Rosenberg of Nokia Entertainment Talks Nokia Music and Sundance Channel Film Series
Fri, 16 Nov 2012 08:47:06
Gary Clark, Jr. Photos
Gary Clark, Jr. Videos
Nokia Entertainment is revolutionizing the way we listen to music on mobile.
The company just launched Nokia Music their groundbreaking streaming service, providing free and unlimited access to the hottest tracks on Nokia Lumia smartphones. In addition, Nokia Music has partnered with Sundance Channel to produce six short films about a myriad of music scenes across the U.S. The series airs on Sundance Channel in January, and "Bright Lights" by 21st century guitar god Gary Clark, Jr. plays over the closing credits and promo spots for the series.
In this exclusive interview, ARTISTdirect.com editor-in-chief Rick Florino spoke to Jyrki Rosenberg, Global Head and VP, Nokia Entertainment about Nokia Music, the film series, and so much more.
Is music the unifying thread for every medium in this partnership from the films to the app?
We actually did a survey recently to find out something we knew already, but it was interesting to do the survey. We asked people, "What are your biggest passions in life?" We asked about cooking, music, films, sports, and you-name-it. We found out on average the biggest passion people have is music. In that sense, yes, music is the thing that brings it all together. I've yet to meet a person who doesn't love music. People have different tastes. Somebody might like pop and rock, while another person likes jazz or classical, but everybody likes some kind of music. In a way, it is a unifying force between the arts and different content types.
How did this whole initiative come to life?
We launched Nokia Music in the U.S. a month ago, and we worked really hard to make it optimized for mobile. You just basically click, and it starts playing a channel. Once you get the user experience right, and you get all of the clutter away between the user and the music, what matters is the music. You aren't competing on features or usability anymore; you're competing on music. That's when it's really important to get the recommendations and the music right. That's what we're doing with Sundance Channel here. We're traveling around and talking to fans and artists to improve the music recommendations, our playlists, and everything. We want to have the latest knowledge of American musical tastes. We went to Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Portland to interview people who are enthusiastic and passionate about the music to improve the content side of our service.
Do you see a different side of music within each culture?
The cities are tied closely to the genres. We did ask people, "What's hot in your city?" It's surprising how fast it's evolving though. It does spread quickly. You'd go to New Orleans and expect everybody to be talking about jazz. Once you see the films, you realize everything in New Orleans isn't about jazz. They listen to modern music as well. It's changing constantly so that's why you want to be a part of that dialogue with the artists and fans to be able to run a really great music service from the content point-of-view.
What's your favorite part of the Nokia Music app? How would you recommend using it?
Specifically, what's best to me is taking things offline. This is the only music service that's been designed for mobile first rather than a computer or fixed web. You have no registration, and you can start playing playlists with one click. You can go to any category and find sub-genres. In jazz, there's piano jazz, electric jazz, and Latin jazz pianos. In addition to playing with one click, I can press hold and make the list available offline. It downloads the whole channel. I created four offline channels before I flew to L.A. yesterday. I could listen to them offline on the plane. As long as you have the device, you can use it for free too. There's a "Gig Finder" which lets you know what bands are playing in your area.
Are you excited for the film series?
See our interview with Gary Clark Jr. here!