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Crowd-sourcing and how to work with big brands – a Nokia ringtone follow-up

By Charlotta Hedman

A while ago I wrote about Nokia’s new crowd-sourced ringtone, which got a mixed reception online (by mixed I mean it was heavily criticised).

Behind the competition was Finnish music tech-start-up Audiodraft. I got hold of company CEO Teemu Yli-Hollo to ask him about audio crowd-sourcing and his thoughts on the Nokia ringtone.

1. Could you briefly and in your own words describe what Audiodraft is

We want to emphasize the meaning of audio branding and we are offering a platform which makes custom made audio accessible for companies and brands. Through our service you get custom made music and sound design whether you need a background track for your TV commercial, theme music for your mobile game or an audio logo. We have over 15,000 sound designers and musicians in more than 90 countries who can do the composing for your needs through sound design contests.

2. What was it like working with Nokia?

The Nokia Tune is a perfect example of audio branding and we are extremely excited to be part of the remaking of the iconic sound. Nokia was really dedicated to this contest and one of the reasons for its success was that Nokia gave feedback to every 6,200 entry in the contest. This engaged people even more with the contest and with Nokia’s brand.

3. What do you think about the reactions to the winning song?

Nokia was looking for a fresh new version of the Nokia Tune. I think the winning tune fits that perfectly. I have it as my ring tone and I’m loving it. The final selection of the winner was done by a jury including audio branding, sound design and marketing professionals such as Julian Treasure from The Sound Agency, Kai Bronner from Audio Branding Academy and Mark Dewings from SoundCloud. I’m glad that jury selected a tune that is different. The reactions to the winning tune were really powerful also because of the misunderstanding that the original Nokia Tune will be replaced. The winning tune will be placed in more than 100 million Nokia devices but not as the default ring tone.

4. What has the feedback been after the competition? What do you think about the publicity it’s given you?
The feedback has been great. People are really excited that Nokia invited people to be part of remaking the Nokia Tune. The publicity has been good for Nokia and AudioDraft as well. Not many platforms offer the amount of engagement we gained through this contest: over 6000 entries that where played over 10 million times in four weeks. That’s amazing!

5. Would you work with big brands in the future? Why?
Definitely. Consumers are nowadays expecting a dialog from brands. We really want to offer a channel to brands to have this kind of authentic conversation through audio production.

6. What’s the next step for Audiodraft?
In the beginning of 2012 we are introducing new services that will make unique audio even more accessible for brands and will also help the sound designers to build up their career. Also major sound design contests are launching quite soon! Stay tuned!

One thought on “Crowd-sourcing and how to work with big brands – a Nokia ringtone follow-up”

  1. Mihai says:

    Big companies should learn from what Nokia did. Is like giving the users the chance to “put their fingerprints” on the products.
    Also the way Audiodraft managed the contest was great.

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