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Nokia MixRadio to become a standalone music service. Android, iOS apps?

Nokia’s MixRadio is set to spin off into an independent company after Microsoft announced its plans to cut 18,000 jobs over the next year, reported Music Ally.

MixRadio head Jyrki Rosenberg told Music Ally that post the spin-off Microsoft and MixRadio will continue to maintain strong links and the app will continue to be preloaded on Windows Phone smartphones.

The Pandora-style personal radio service MixRadio made its debut in 2011, when it was known as Nokia Music. It’s already available in 31 countries, including India and China. Indian users got to sample MixRadio for the first time in November 2013, when the music service was extended to both Windows Phone-based Lumia devices and new S40 devices.

The newfound independence brings huge opportunity for MixRadio. Previously available only on the Lumia line of Nokia handsets, the developers can now tap into hitherto untapped markets, iOS and Android. By branching out, MixRadio will have a much better chance of competing against the likes of iHeartRadio, Spotify and Pandora.

MixRadio will also have to deal with certain issues. Previously an ad-free service was viable since it was the means which Nokia used to sell more phones. With ubiquitous availability across platforms, MixRadio will have to rethink monetization. MixRadio will have to either resort to advertising in their free services like Pandora, or figure out a different business model which does not depend on being bundled into a smartphone. In January 2013 a premium plan was launched, priced at EUR 3.99 a month. This plan offered users the option of unlimited track skips and cached mixes; higher-quality audio and the ability to stream on other devices via an HTML5 site.

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Post independence, MixRadio will continue being a preloaded app on Windows/Nokia smartphones. Rosenberg, the MixRadio boss and his team have also been looking for investors and, while having hinted at strong interest from investors in Europe, Asia and the US, are still without a signed deal.

Currently, MixRadio has a catalog of over 32 million songs are over 10,000 curated playlists, which Rosenberg claims is more than any other service. It also has a deep reach in markets such as India and China, where competition remains low. If MixRadio is able to pull out a feasible financial strategy in time, it might actually be able to challenge the likes of Spotify and Pandora.

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