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How Nokia Plans To Reshape The Music Industry

ESPOO, Finland (Hypebot) –
Nokia may not get the headlines that the iPhone, Blackberry and even Palm Pre does, but when the world's largest cell phone manufacturer says that it wants to remake the music and entertainment industries from the ground up, everyone should probably listen.

Last year, Nokia sold 472 million cell phones and generated revenue $70 billion. According to Fast Company, it is the world's 88th largest company revenue with 1.1 billion customers. Nokia operates 150 countries with devices in 180 languages. Nokia's overall share of the global cell-phone market is bigger than its next three competitors combined.

Nokia designs products based on the principle that there are three reasons why people adopt new technologies: survival, social, and entertainment. And in addition to investing in technology that company has invested heavily in studying how people in different cultures and environments use their mobile devices. The result are more than 100 different cell models that sell for between $10 and $700.

How the company plans to remake the music industry, particularly since 9 out of 10 in the U.S. don't listen to music on their cells, is still very much a work in progress, but the collaborations between Nokia EVP of Entertainment & Communities Tero Ojanperä and musician / technologist / consultant Dave Stewart offer some initial insights.

"We both connected very deeply around the idea that a cell phone is really just an empty shell," says Stewart. "And we also agreed that content is the seed." One early experiment is singer Cindy Gomez who Stewart and Ojanperä are launching as the star of the Dance Fabulous mobile game which Nokia debuted on 40 million handsets in June.

Stewart manages Gomez and has signed her for recordings Universal. Songs from the game are sold on Nokia's online Music Store and "Comes With Music". Nokia even sponsored a 5 week European concert tour.

Another hint of the breadth of Nokia's plans comes from Ojanperä's willingness to use his pulpit to sore out the global publishing quagmire that has become a major stumbling block for music technology innovation , "We struck a cross-continent licensing arrangement with all the majors. Our plan is to change the whole landscape of how music publishing works, and I think it is going to be a better direction for everyone."