MOBILE phone giant Nokia is preparing to unveil a further six live gigs in the UK as the music market continues to become a crucial battleground in the ongoing tussle with rivals Apple and Samsung.
The Finnish firm’s Lumia Live Sessions arrived in Glasgow last week, with folk-rock duo Slow Club playing at the Brittania Panopticon, supported by French Wives.
The gig was one of six events run by the company to promote its phones and it plans to host a further half-dozen concerts. Adam Johnson, head of consumer marketing at Nokia UK, said: “We’ve chosen to go for smaller, more intimate gigs rather than big concerts in Hyde Park or at the O2 Arena.
“In our advertising, we focus on our phones’ apps and cameras, but music doesn’t always translate well into advertising – it’s so much more of a personal and immersive experience that it’s better to do it with live events.”
Johnson said the events also allow the brand to promote its phones’ cameras, which include lenses made by Carl Zeiss and which can be used in dark or low-light conditions, such as those at a gig.
The Lumia Live series has also included soul singer Lianne La Havas performing in a skatepark in Liverpool, electro-pop band Fenech-Soler playing at a mixed martial arts venue in Leeds and Mercury award-nominated Ghostpoet jamming at a Bristol cemetery.
Johnson added: “It’s a natural area that a lot of brands go towards because music is so meaningful to people. We have to highlight our differences.”
He pointed to the Nokia Music service, which is hosted in Bristol and employs DJs to select music and compile playlists rather than using computer programs to deliver the same services.
His comments came days after US technology giant Apple launched its iTunes Radio service, which will feature more than 200 stations and a catalogue of songs available over the internet via phones, tablets and other devices.
South Korean rival Samsung is fighting back through a deal with rapper Jay-Z, famed for his duets with singers including his wife, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Rihanna.
Samsung has bought one million copies of the artist’s next album, entitled Magna Carta Holy Grail, which it will give away to users of its Samsung Galaxy S4, S3 and Note 2 mobile phones – four days before the record goes on sale to the general public.
In 2003, Nokia teamed up with Jay-Z to pre-load copies of The Black Album on to one of its phones.
Nokia chief Stephen Elop has pinned the future of his loss-making company on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, hoping to reverse a fall in revenue over the past two years.
Competition has intensified in the £800 billion global mobile phone market, with Nokia and Sony joined by the likes of Apple, HTC, LG and Samsung.
The growth of mobile phone networks in developing markets such as Africa has triggered the launch of lower-priced handsets alongside more expensive smartphones for Western markets, featuring cameras, music players and social networking software.