Vodafone Group is to launch a new music service that will allow customers to access music in tune with their tastes using cell-phones, as the mobile giant looks to grow revenues from areas other than phone calls.
The world's biggest cell-phone company by sales said on Monday it had joined hands with Sony NetServices for the Vodafone Radio DJ service that will offer personalised radio channels streamed to customers' 3G mobile phones and computers.
"Customers have access to hundreds of thousands of songs, both current popular hits and back catalogue, from the world's largest record companies, and many smaller independent labels," Vodafone said in a statement.
The British-based group, like many of its peers in the sector, is aiming to boost revenues as it looks to recoup billions of dollars of investment in third generation (3G) mobile services, as rising competition forces down the price of phone calls.
Vodafone said a key feature of the new service was its personalization system, which would allow customers to customise radio channels to their personal tastes by pressing a button to indicate "like" or "dislike" while listening to a song.
If a customer presses dislike, the music skips to the next song, and Sony's classification will ensure that subsequent radio channels would avoid songs similar to those rejected.
Vodafone, which plans to launch the service in six European countries in the coming months, said it would charge customers a monthly subscription for unlimited listening to music on both mobile phone and computer.
The company, which plans to initially launch the service in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal, said it would roll out the service to over 20 countries around the world over the year.