Nokia today announced the launch of the Indian implementation of Comes With Music. The fact it is called Ovi Music indicates the degree to which this is a highly bespoke implementation of Nokia’s unlimited music offering, specifically tailored for the local market. Nokia understand the dynamics of emerging markets more than any other global digital music player and they’re embarking on a first or early mover strategy across key emerging markets such as India, Russia and Mexico. This is Nokia’s 30th unlimited music market.
Nokia have done a lot to address local market dynamics, such as a 90% local language, 4 million track catalogue, pinless activation directly on mobile devices without a PC (due to low PC penetration) and reducing the Ovi client from 60MB to 3MB to address connectivity issues. The service will also have a new low end music phone (the X2) to drive its launch.
Even with those features though, the majority of the Indian market will not be addressable. Most mobile phone users don’t have any download capability (either PC or mobile) and rely upon filling up their phones with illegal content from dodgy stalls set up outside mobile phone shops. (Nokia’s focus on ‘clean meta data’ for Ovi Music in India is an intended differentiation point from these resellers).
Of course Nokia fully understand these dynamics and they’ve chosen to launch a service with a remit of addressing a smaller, higher spending, more tech savvy segment, leaving their AM radio enabled phones as a means of delivering a music experience to rural areas etc.
Last December I wrote about Building B2B Technology Markets, looking at how to penetrate a market with almost none of the traditional characteristics of a mature technology market? As technology vendors increasingly look to emerging markets as a significant opportunity and source of growth, this question becomes more pressing. The report explored some of the elements of Cisco’s Country Transformation initiatives in order to identify steps in the process of building market infrastructure:
For example, the report looked at partnering with governments to encourage market-friendly policies and investment in the necessary technology infrastructure to support market development and overall economic growth. And, from a sales perspective, trade associations provided an alternative channel to reach small and medium businesses in markets where distributors and resellers weren't available.
But, another element critical to successful market development is the ecosystem of partners developing solutions specific to the particular market, or even just contributing local innovation for new approaches to broader global issues. Building B2B Technology Markets discussed finding local organizations to act as partners in the market, and even investing in educational initiatives, but missed the next step of how to help create these new local ecosystem partners.