Debuting in 31 countries, Nokia MixRadio brings personalized radio to its global customers. The new service premiered at an event held at New York’s Milk Studios Thursday morning, featuring an intimate Q&A with Nile Rodgers moderated by Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde.
MixRadio is anchored by a special feature called Play Me that creates a custom radio station based on Nokia customer’s personal music storage, purchases in the Nokia Store and data from songs they’ve thumbed up or down or favored on the radio station across a global library of 26 million tracks. Unlike other music services, MixRadio does not require any registration or purchase.
“Play Me is our answer to a challenge that music lovers face around the world,” said Jyrki Rosenberg, VP and head of Nokia Entertainment. “With so much music available, how do you find the songs that you love and will fall in love with? The choice of millions of songs can be daunting. You can end up listening to the same songs day after day or wasting hours trying to find something new. No more. Play Me takes you straight to the music, straight to the music you love and straight to a stream of music that we know you are going to love.”
In addition to New York, MixRadio will host launch events in Los Angeles Thursday evening, Mumbai next week and additional cities across the globe in the coming weeks. Since launching in 2011, Nokia Music has gained the most traction in countries like China, India, Russia and Brazil. The United States was one of the service’s more recent territories, debuting in September 2012 via a partnership with Green Day and Warner Bros. Records.
Nokia MixRadio is powered by Windows, and will likely see further integration into other products as Microsoft’s pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia becomes finalized. “We’ve also launched NokiaMix, which is based on MixRadio, which is an experience on Xbox where if you’re at a party, people can vote on what the next song should be,” Rosenberg told Billboard. “We can’t comment on future innovation, but you could imagine what kind of innovation is coming.”
In a wide-ranging Q&A with Billboard’s Werde, Rodgers noted that he became a personal fan of the MixRadio and was surprised by which songs were suggested when he queued up a playlist during a trip to Paris this week. “I purposefully didn’t put in that many women, just because I wanted to check out how the musical DNA would connect us all,” he said. “The interesting byproduct of what I had put in was songs that I didn’t know that certain artists had done that I actually loved. I did what I typically do was I start writing, because I would think ‘You know this song is really cool but it would be even better if this next bar was a 2/4 bar,’ and I started writing new stuff from stuff I never knew existed before. So that impressed the hell out of me.”
Rodgers also spoke about his recent career renaissance as a result of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which he co-wrote along with two additional songs on the band’s “Random Access Memories” album. Though Rodgers has also appeared on new music from other dance music heavyweights in recent months, the collaborations weren’t as reactionary as one might think. “Get Lucky,” for example, was written and recorded over two years ago, and Rodgers has been actively in the studio in the months since. “All these records just started to come out around the same time, not that it was planned that way. So I have Avicii, Disclosure, and everyone thinks it’s part of this Daft Punk effect.”