At the GSMA Mobile World Congress so far we have discussed networks and applications and gadgets. However the GSMA Mobile World Congress is also a place of niche innovations taking centre stage with music derivatives becoming builders of mobile internet communities. One finds several music-related social tools, which bring people who love the same kind of music or artistes, together. There are several derivatives of music one can explore and each derivative can have a community behind it. A new off-shoot for entertainment, especially for the India perspective is song lyrics.
TuneWiki, a music streaming application for mobile devices, is enabling the lyrics feature to go social. The mobile application does two things. First it syncs itself to your local library on the device, searches for lyrics over the web for the songs in your library and when you play music via TuneWiki, it streams the lyrics on a screen embedded as the song plays out. Second, it allows you to choose music stations via the web. These stations are by genre or popularity. As you stream your songs, TuneWiki streams lyrics onto the screen embedded.
The lyrics streamed on TuneWiki are legalised as they are directly sourced from music labels and injected on the TuneWiki platform. If you choose to download the song, the service redirects you to various digital entertainment storefronts from where you could purchase these pieces of content. The content on TuneWiki is in the form of music tracks and videos.
The community feature comes into play with a Music Map, which indicates where else the song is playing, who is listening to it or what other music is available in the same genre. One can choose to follow a corresponding device and even share your playlists using the social feature. The service also allows you to sync your updates with social networking sites where you could tell your friends about the latest song you heard and whether you like it or not.
Currently, TuneWiki is working with BlackBerry to explore different avenues through which this service can be brought into India. Niche innovations like these will be key entertainment pieces that will help in building out the consumption of legitimate content.
We live in country that produces the largest number of films every year. We also have great lyrics in our music and these have a social following of their own. Words and meter are an integral part of Indian Music in any language. This is definitely a viable business model for not just content owners, but also mobile service providers. A service like this changes the experience for consumers, and lyrics as an entertainment derivative become the next big thing for social media.
(Neeraj Roy is Managing Director and CEO, Hungama Mobile and the Mobile Entertainment Forum Asia Board Chairman)