Nokia launches XpressMusic in India; ties up with labels

Mumbai: Nokia India has tied-up with a host of international & Indian music companies for its new ‘Touch Music’ device – the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic.

Nokia also announced the scheduled launch of the beta version of the Nokia Music Store.

Nokia executive vice president Anssi Vanjoki said, "With more than 300 million music enabled devices sold, and a strong base of over 10 Nokia Music stores in operation globally, Nokia has been able to gain incredible amount of knowledge and insights on what people want in a music device and track important trends on how people consume music. We will continue to break new grounds in this space by building more and better services for our consumers."

"Mobile music will continue to be a key priority area for Nokia in 2009 and our strategy is aimed at developing the market for mobile music by following a partnership driven model that enriches consumer experience with innovative devices, accessories and local content," Vanjoki added.

Nokia India MD D Shivakumar said, "As Nokia’s first mass-market device with a touch screen, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic turns a ‘user interface’ into a ‘human interface’ by truly putting people first. When it comes to music phones, people all over the world want a device that is a great music experience – with more memory, loud and powerful speakers, easy synchronization – and must still work well as a mobile phone with direct access to important contacts and content."

IMI president Vijay Lazarus said, "Our association with the market leader Nokia is a significant step forward in shaping the digital music ecosystem in India. It’s our first initiative to fundamentally align the interests of music companies with telecommunications. Through this innovative service, we aim to create the most comprehensive music offering designed to meet the increasing consumer appetite for mobile music."

The device, along with offering a variety of input methods including a virtual alphanumeric keypad, a virtual computer-style QWERTYkeyboard, also has a pen stylus and for true music enthusiasts, a plectrum. The device will be available in India starting January 2009.

Nokia Music Store, a part of the OVI, is an online music service that will deliver over a million tracks from global hits to local artists and provide Indian consumers the freedom to enjoy music at their fingertips. Everything works with one user interface, giving people the opportunity to connect to the music they want, in the way they want. The Nokia Music Store beta will go live in December 2008.

To enable locally relevant content, Nokia has tied up with leading international music companies – Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner – and major independent Indian record labels including T-Series, Big Music, Yashraj and many more. The company is also planning to join hands with India’s leading music body, Indian Music Industry (IMI), a consortium of over 150 music companies, to give consumers an opportunity to discover and enjoy their favorite music across genres and languages.