MIDEM announcements: Webdoc, Nokia, Samsung, Soundrop

By | Published on Tuesday 29 January 2013


Hey, digital announcements from MIDEM fans, here’s a round up of some digitally-focused announcements that have come out of Cannes in the last 48 hours. So grab yourself a ten euro mouthful of Evian, and consume this lot…

London-based start-up Webdoc, which provides social-media style tools for labels and artists, has rebranded as Urturn and announced a new service called Expression, designed to help users monitor and promote user-generated content from across the social networks. Says co-founder Vincent Borel: “Everyone was saying engagement is the new metric, but how do we measure engagement and how do we get artists engaged? We set out to measure content creation – who was creating content around a particular artist, around a particular topic, and getting the viral word-of-mouth out”.

Next up, Nokia. You know, Nokia. Oh, come on, you remember Nokia. It was the cool option when a mobile purchase was “hmm, Motorola or Nokia”. Had that really shit download service called Comes With Music? Ah yes, there you go. Well, the phone maker’s latest play in the music space – in some markets – is Nokia Music, a free-to-use interactive-radio-style streaming service for Nokia Lumia owners. Well, now there’s also Nokia Music+, a premium option which offers more track skipping, offline play and other gubbins. Says Nokia’s VP Entertainment Jyrki Rosenberg: “By removing barriers like adverts and sign-ins, Nokia Music makes it easy for users to discover and enjoy music on the go. Nokia Music+ now provides increased control over the listening experience at half the cost of many third party services”.

Next up is Samsung, which has revealed ambitions to make its previously reported Music Hub service – currently an enticement to buy the consumer electronics giant’s devices – accessible beyond Samsung’s own gadgets. According to The Next Web, which spoke to the company’s TJ Kang ahead of his MIDEM appearance, Samsung recognises that consumers want to be able to access their music service of choice from multiple devices, and if their smartphone, tablet and laptop are all from different manufacturers, with just one a Samsung product, that makes Music Hub as it currently stands less attractive. It’s early days on the device-expansion ambition so far, though with Music Hub accessible on certain Samsung phones via an Android app, presumably expanding the music service to other Android devices wouldn’t be so tricky.

And finally, ‘social listening’ service Soundrop has launched a new Facebook app, meaning users will no longer need a Spotify account to use the service. The Facebook based ‘rooms’ – essentially collaborative playlists – will draw on YouTube and VEVO for music, though playlists, track voting and chat will also be mirrored within the existing Spotify app.

Soundrop CEO Inge Andre Sandvik told CMU: “We’re excited to make Soundrop available in the main place where artists connect with their fans. Whether you want to use VEVO and YouTube or Spotify as your music service, Soundrop has you covered. We streamed more than 500 million tracks last year in Spotify, and now we’re excited to help artists accelerate their video traffic by bringing our same addictive social music service to Facebook”.

At launch, artists running ‘rooms’ via their Facebook pages include Owl City, Franz Ferdinand, Hot Chip, ABBA, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Devlin and Delphic, many of whom will be chatting to fans as they listen to their music in the next few days.

And that’s enough MIDEM updates for now. My mouth’s getting dry, and I can’t justify another fifteen euro shot of cola.