Nokia has just launched the Independent Artists Club (IAC), a Web site (http://web-iac.nokia-asia.com) where anyone can go to listen to and download free songs submitted by independent musicians.
Users of Nokia cell phones can download up to 10 tracks per month, while non-Nokia users who register at the site are limited to 5 downloads per month. Free streaming is unlimited for all visitors world-wide.
Although the site was just launched yesterday, Wednesday, October 24, dozens of bands have uploaded music, from genres including rock, pop, hip hop, electronica, and more. So far, the site has been used by musicians in Singapore and surrounding countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines. The songs are not copy-protected, and their MP3 music format enables them to be played on computers and portable music players or used as phone ring tones.
Nokia plans to invest 3 million euros ($6.25 million) over the next three years for the project. Musicians won´t be able to collect money for downloads, and Nokia has no plans to change this set-up. However, bands and artists will have the option of selling their music at Nokia´s online store, which will be launched in 2008 and contain more than 2 million songs (iTunes is not available in Asia). Top bands may also be picked to play at future Nokia IAC gigs. The IAC site features charts of the most popular downloads, and allows fans to rate and comment on the songs.
Mostly, the site is intended as a free and easy means for indie musicians to get their music heard beyond their local community. Currently, Nokia is administering the uploading process, but will allow self-uploads by December.
"Independent Artists Club is the hub for new music in Asia," according the IAC Web site. "At IAC, we´re about the spirit of independence which drives the digital music age. For music lovers, it´s a hunting ground for fresh sounds, a place to download free music and rate the tracks you want to see top the chart. We are about promoting home-grown music in all its hues, colours, genres and sounds."
Nokia cell phone users will also be able to download straight to higher-end Nokia phones. Pricing has not yet been confirmed but is expected to be about 2 euros for European customers, where the initiative is originally being launched.
Via: Straits Times
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