Vodafone and Sony NetServices introduce “Vodafone Radio DJ” (News release)

Back in May 05 we did an interview with two senior Sony execs in Europe, Robert Ashcroft, Senior Vice-President of Network Services Europe and Gregory Kukolj, General Manager for Personal Audio Europe. We explored where Sony was, and where it was planning to go. With todays annoucment in mind, it’s probably worth a revisit – The Future of Sony Network Music and Players: Interview

Today, Vodafone and Sony NetServices are announcing a partnership for the global roll-out of the world’sfirst fully convergent music service – Vodafone Radio DJ – offering interactive, personalised radio channelsstreamed to both 3G mobile phones and personal computers.

With Vodafone Radio DJ, customers have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, both current popularhits 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 customersthemselves.

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 toindicate “like” or “dislike” while listening to a song. If a customer presses ‘dislike’, the music skips to the nextsong.

Through Sony NetServices’ detailed classification of each song in the catalogue – analysing beat andharmonies as well as genre and mood – the radio channels that individual customers receive will featuremore songs that have characteristics in common with songs that are liked, whilst avoiding songs withcharacteristics similar to those that the customer dislikes.

The Vodafone Radio DJ service consists of three elements:

  • Pre-defined channels. Customers can select a radio channel based on mood or genre. If the customerindicates 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 andPC.
  • Personal Channels. By rating songs on the existing radio channels, the customer can create a number ofnew, 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 mobilephone or PC. These collections will be created by local music experts around a theme (eg Christmas Hits, orthe 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 aseparate high quality stereo copy being delivered individually to each. Personal settings and personalchannels 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 onboth mobile phone and PC. There will be no extra charge to the consumer for the data traffic needed todeliver 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 will then be rolled out to more than 20 countries worldwide over thefollowing twelve months.

“This is the beginning of a new era in portable music. This partnership with Sony will drive Vodafone’sstrategy to become a leading global music provider. Vodafone Radio DJ is a revolutionary new way todiscover personal music, anytime and anywhere, and we anticipate it will have widespread consumer appealamongst our customers”, said Edward Kershaw, Vodafone’s Head of Music.

“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 andon the PC”>