SBS Finland's Kiss FM today became the first radio station in the world to begin Visual Radio broadcasts. This unique new concept developed by Nokia offers the listeners the possibility to give feedback and to participate in programs easier than ever before. Radio is a medium which encourages participation and which people perceive as very personal. Visual Radio is the natural next evolution step; it brings the radio station and its listeners even closer together.
Kiss FM Visual Radio provides visual information on the song and artist currently playing on the radio, including album information and future tour dates. With a simple push of a button, the listeners can take part in competitions and audience polls, buy ring tones and wallpapers for their phone, and book tickets for the evening's concert.
"Kiss FM celebrates its 10th anniversary today. For the past decade, the station has been a pioneer in Finnish radio, introducing the first hit format, the first morning show, and the first radio web site and chat room for the young listeners," says Leena Ryynanen, CEO of SBS Finland Oy. "It is therefore only natural that Kiss FM should be the first radio station in the world to offer Visual Radio broadcasts. We are extremely proud that Nokia has chosen SBS Finland as its partner in revolutionizing the radio landscape."
Ryynanen believes Visual Radio will open up new possibilities for radio: "Visual Radio strengthens the communal aspect of radio as well as the relationship between the radio station and the listener. It also enables us to offer new interactive real time services for our advertisers."
Visual Radio adapts to the needs of different radio formats. "Radio stations can mould Visual Radio to their liking. Radio City, another SBS station, will begin Visual Radio broadcasts later this spring, and the theme of the visual content there will the same as the station's motto, 'Rock and Sports'," explains Ryynanen.
"We are delighted to co-operate with Kiss FM in bringing Visual Radio to consumers. The Nokia 7710, Nokia 3230 and the Nokia 6230i, which was launched earlier this week, are the first Nokia phones to feature the new Visual Radio application. More Visual Radio enabled handsets will be introduced later this year," says Tommi Mustonen, General Manager of Nokia's Visual Radio Business. "This new Nokia application redefines the mobile radio experience for the listeners, radio stations, music industry, advertisers and operators. Our co-operation with Hewlett-Packard (HP) who market, sell and deliver Visual Radio to radio stations and operators makes it possible to have Visual Radio globally.
"Sonera sees music as an increasingly important part of future mobile services, and wants to be a forerunner in the field," says Olli-Pekka Takanen, Department Director, TeliaSonera Finland. The Visual Radio service is available to all Sonera customers (with a Visual Radio enabled Nokia mobile phone). No registration or service subscription is necessary, the customers can access the service simply by choosing Visual Radio on their phone menu. The customers do not pay any connection or monthly fees, as the service usage will be charged according to the data traffic prices stated in Sonera's valid price list.