ROK Entertainment Group, the UK-based mobile technologies and applications development company, and parent company of ROK Comics has just announced the launch of ROK Media Store, following a four month trial and testing process.
ROK Media Store - www.rokmediastore.com - is a web-based application, available for free, which now enables the user to upload their music collection to their PC and to sideload it to the memory card on their mobile phone. Further music and video content is available for purchase online and is delivered to the buyer using ROK's proprietory content-compression and copy-protection technologies.
"More than 100 million iPods have been sold worldwide in the past five years, which clearly shows the enormous demand for music on the move" says Laurence Alexander, CEO of ROK . "Mobile entertainment is a proven market which stretches back more than 25 years from the days of the Sony Walkman, but when you look at the far bigger scale of the mobile phone market, with three billion handsets in use, being upgraded at the rate of one billion new handsets every year, ROK Media Store is designed to allow millions more people the opportunity, right now, to upload, manage and listen to music on their mobiles, in the same way those with an iPod have been able to do.
"Most handsets are now sold with a removable memory card and while the cost of memory cards has fallen considerably in the past year or so, their capacity is increasing all the time," he added, "so we see people building a library of memory cards containing their favourite music, managed via Media Store."
ROK believes Media Store is an "iPod killer" not because it competes with the iPod as another device like Microsoft's Zune, but because it offers a real and viable alternative designed for a device you already own - your mobile phone.
"We're not aiming to kill the iPod by simply offering yet another iPod-type device," said Alexander "we're offering an easy-to-use and free-to-use, mass-market alternative to having to buy an iPod."
ROK intend to monetise Media Store through a combination of online advertising and through offering people the chance to purchase additional content via the website for side-loading to their mobile phones, in a similar manner as iTunes.
"It's about time someone offered an alternative to iTunes in the mobile music space," feels Alexander.
ROK will also be adding video functionality to the service later this year.
"In addition to simply uploading their own music to their mobile phones, which is entirely free to use, we will be offering an ever-increasing portfolio of music and video content for people to buy online to augment their collections in the same way as iTunes sells music," he explains, "and we'll be adding more video content, going-forward, to include everything from full-length movies to music videos."
According to M:Metrics, 12% of people in the UK already download music to their mobile phones.
"We are very confident Media Store will prove a big success as it's a fantastic and timely addition to our portfolio of mobile entertainment technologies," said Jonathan Kendrick, Chairman of ROK, commenting on the launch.
ROK Entertainment Group is currently deploying its mobile TV service streamed over 2.5G via GPRS, 3G and WiFi networks to more than 30 operators worldwide as well as direct to consumers via Nokia Eseries devices.
As well as mobile TV service such as Freebe TV and ROK Comics, ROK also provides services such as the fun question and answer service, ANSA, and