The FINANCIAL — Nokia will start connecting content providers with consumers through a one-stop shop, the Ovi Store, which will offer consumers relevant, targeted media through their social connections and their physical location information.
When it opens in May, the Ovi Store is a scalable media distribution network unrivaled in size and opportunity, with advanced content targeting capabilities and monetization options that allow content providers and application developers to leverage the power of Nokia's global scale in devices. Beginning in March, content providers, developers and the existing Forum Nokia developer ecosystem can begin uploading their content at publish.ovi.com to be the first to distribute their media through the Ovi Store. Content providers can sign up there today for access.
According to Nokia, the Ovi Store will consolidate the best experiences from the current content services including Download!, MOSH and WidSets to a single channel, and expands upon Ovi Services to deliver media influenced by the people and places that matter to you. It will amplify content provider and developer opportunities and simplify the consumer content discovery process by offering personally relevant, up-to-the-minute media for their devices. The content will range from applications, games and videos to widgets, podcasts, location-based applications and personalization content for Nokia Series 40 and S60 devices. The Nokia N97, available in June, will be the first device to include the simple and easy-to-use storefront. In addition, tens of millions of existing Nokia Series 40 and S60 users will be capable of enjoying the new service starting in early May.
"The Ovi Store will enable our devices to uniquely surface relevant content for consumers based on the people who matter to them and the particular places they happen to be, bringing a new generation of media services to the fingertips of millions of people around the world," said Tero Ojanperä, Executive Vice President, Nokia Services. "By leveraging our strengths as a company and the assets of our partners, the Ovi Store is a 'smart store' that will change the way our consumers discover and consume content on their mobile devices, ultimately making the experience easier, more fun and most importantly, more relevant."
Unlike traditional mobile storefronts, the Ovi Store, if enabled by the consumers, will target those consumers with tailored content based on Nokia's unique ability to take advantage of and learn from the consumer's location and social connections. From this point on, the media you consume is no longer just about "what" you're buying, but also now about "where," "when," "why," and "who" bought what. Consumers will be able to activate social discovery so that content enjoyed by their social network can be automatically surfaced and made available for download and repeat consumption. Content will also be presented based on location so that consumers will always have the most relevant experience wherever they are in the world. Consumers will be able to choose to pay for content with a credit card or through operator billing. By providing a choice of payment options for consumers, content providers and developers will gain access to consumers in markets where credit cards are not widely available.
"Ovi Store will empower consumers around the world to take better advantage of the power of mobile through a new content discovery experience," said Mauro Montanaro, CEO of Fox Mobile Group. "We are excited to broaden our relationship with Nokia and believe Ovi will enhance our ability to take uniquely innovative content, such as from the upcoming 20th Century Fox release, Ice Age 3, and create unparalleled mobile entertainment experiences across millions of devices."
In utilizing the current Nokia content services, the Ovi Store is expected to launch with an existing addressable device base in the tens of millions while growing the service to an estimate of 300 million consumers by 2012. For content providers and developers, this provides an opportunity to individually reach a universe of potentially hundreds of millions of people, making it the world's largest media network. With the industry's largest footprint of Adobe Flash supported devices, Ovi Store will be the premier distribution channel for applications commissioned by the Adobe and Nokia USD 10 million Open Screen Project fund. Forum Nokia, Nokia's global developer support program, will also continue to support, educate and challenge its more than 4 million registered developers to add to the applications already available for Nokia Series 40 and S60 devices through this single channel.
To enable content providers from all over the world to distribute through the Ovi Store, Nokia is opening publish.ovi.com for content providers and developers to submit their media and choose how to monetize it through an easy and automated process. Once the Ovi Store opens in May, it will also offer content providers and developers dashboard reporting to monitor how well their content is selling on the Ovi Store through publish.ovi.com.
What some of the Ovi Store partners are saying:
"EA Mobile has been successfully pre-loading and offering our broad range of games to Nokia consumers around the world for many years" said Javier Ferreira, VP Publishing Europe, EA Mobile(TM). "We are very enthusiastic about the new Ovi Store as it combines ease of discovery, relevancy and recommendation which are essential in any quality content offering."
"We're very happy to be working with Nokia to bring its consumers a great Facebook experience, and give even more people around the world the opportunity to share and connect on Facebook through their mobile devices," said Henri Moissinac, director of mobile, Facebook. "The Ovi Store will be a great distribution channel that will provide consumers with a simple way to discover new apps, such as Facebook, on innovative Nokia devices."
"Glu is excited to be a part of the new Ovi Store and supports Nokia's efforts to provide consumers with a wide offering of applications, including mobile games," said Jill Braff, SVP global publishing, Glu Mobile. "Glu will deliver a broad spectrum of high quality games to the new Ovi Store and we look forward to bringing consumers yet another way to access top-notch mobile games and continue to drive our business to greater heights."
"We are continually looking for opportunities to integrate MySpace into mobile devices and create a ubiquitous experience for our users," said John Faith, vice president and general manager of Mobile for MySpace. "By making MySpace available through the Ovi Store, we are enabling millions of Nokia handsets on-the-go access to their network in ways that fit their lifestyle."
"Qik is excited to be a part of this significant move by the largest handset manufacturer in the world," said Ramu Sunkara, CEO of Qik. "Inclusion in Ovi Store enables us to leverage the global scale of Nokia and get our application in the hands of hundreds of millions of Nokia users worldwide. We are really pleased to progress our relationship with Nokia by being a featured application provider in this important new marketplace."