Today, Vodafone and Sony NetServices are announcing a partnership for the global roll-out of the world's first fully convergent music service - Vodafone Radio DJ - offering interactive, personalized radio channels streamed to both 3G mobile phones and personal computers.
With Vodafone Radio DJ, customers have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, both current popular hits and back catalogue, from the world's largest record companies, and many smaller independent labels. Customers can access streamed radio channels, bespoke collections, and channels defined by customers themselves.
The key feature of Vodafone Radio DJ is its
easy-to-use personalization system, which enables customers to "train" the
pre-programmed radio channels to their own personal tastes by simply pressing a
button to indicate "like" or "dislike" while listening to a song. If a customer
presses 'dislike', the music skips to the next song.
Through Sony NetServices'
detailed classification of each song in the catalogue - analyzing beat and
harmonies as well as genre and mood - the radio channels that individual
customers receive will feature more songs that have characteristics in common
with songs that are liked, whilst avoiding songs with characteristics similar to
those that the customer dislikes.
The Vodafone Radio DJ service consists of
- Pre-defined channels: Customers can select a radio channel based
on mood or genre. If the customer indicates that they don't like the song,
the channel skips to the next track within the channel. Customers can also
buy any songs that they like and these will be automatically available for
download to their phone and PC.
- Personal Channels: By rating songs on the existing radio
channels, the customer can create a number of new, personal channels
corresponding to their desired genres, moods or specific themes.
- Collections: Vodafone Radio DJ also presents programmed
collections of songs to the customer on mobile phone or PC. These
collections will be created by local music experts around a theme (e.g.
Christmas Hits, or the Best New Hip-Hop), be updated regularly, and will
comprise about 15 songs.
Songs purchased on either mobile phone or PC will be available to
download on both devices, with a separate high quality stereo copy being
delivered individually to each. Personal settings and personal channels
created on the mobile phone will also be accessible from the PC.
The Radio DJ service will be offered on the basis of a monthly
subscription for unlimited listening to music on both mobile phone and
PC. There will be no extra charge to the consumer for the data traffic
needed to deliver the music to the phone or PC.
Vodafone Radio DJ will be launched in six European countries in the
coming months, namely UK, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. It is
intended it will then be rolled out to more than 20 countries worldwide over
the following twelve months.
"This is the beginning of a new era in portable music. This
partnership with Sony will drive Vodafone's strategy to become a leading
global music provider. Vodafone Radio DJ is a revolutionary new way to
discover personal music, anytime and anywhere, and we anticipate it will
have widespread consumer appeal amongst our customers", said Lee Fenton,
Director of Consumer Platforms at Vodafone.
"Subscribers to Vodafone Radio DJ can listen to all the music they
like, and discover new music to love. Vodafone Radio DJ opens a world of
music discovery and listening pleasure on both the mobile phone and on
the PC", said Robert Ashcroft, Managing Director Sony NetServices and
Senior Vice President Sony Europe.
A subscription price wasn't announced today.
Sounds like a good idea and it looks like the next hype after music
download for mobile devices will become music streaming. After Motorola
announced their music streaming service at CES last week, today Vodafone
goes into the same direction, maybe just a question of time until we will
also see Napster and Yahoo! subscription services on mobile phones? But as
always, these kind of services requires a cooperation with a carrier,
otherwise the transmission costs are way too expansive, if you don't have a
flat data plan.
Cheers ~ Arne