Nokia and Whizz Kid Unite for C4 Commission
Nokia and Whizz Kid Entertainment are collaborating with Channel 4 to launch a new music entertainment television format and series called The Nokia Green Room.
The Nokia Green Room will run for 15 weeks on Channel 4 from April. The programme will play out twice in T4 over the weekend and as a late night repeat as part of 4Music, with exclusive tracks and out-takes available on Nokia mobile devices and via the Nokia Music Store. The series establishes a groundbreaking new format that combines live music performances with reality- style observational TV.
The 30-minute programmes will mix contemporary but diverse music acts together in “The Nokia Green Room”, a specially created backstage area with hidden mics and remote cameras filming the interaction between acts as they wait to perform live on stage.
The series will be co-funded by Nokia and Channel 4 and produced by Whizz Kid Entertainment. Whizz Kid’s digital arm, Tough Cookie, will produce the additional interviews, performances and teasers for download exclusively to Nokia mobile devices and for the Nokia Music Store.
The deal was brokered by Malcolm Gerrie, Chief Executive at Whizz Kid Entertainment, with Nokia’s Will Harris and planning agency MediaCom. Whizz Kid Entertainment have been commissioned by Nokia to repackage the show for broadcast in their key international territories. This will be handled by Precious Media, the content exploitation company acquired by Whizz Kid Entertainment in February 2008.
The Green Room aired as a pilot show on Channel 4 last year to strong ratings, achieving a 5.8% share with over 600,000 viewers, and featured Girls Aloud, The Feeling and Orson.
Malcolm Gerrie, Chief Executive, Whizz Kid Entertainment, commented: “I believe this collaboration represents the way in which branded content will be created in the future, with the production company at the heart of the creative process. Not only do we understand the needs of the broadcasters we also understand how to extend that content onto other media channels for brand partners too. A deal like this needs progressive companies like Nokia and Channel 4 and we are thrilled to be at the centre of such a collaboration.”
Will Harris of Nokia, said: “In the development of our services portfolio, we’re actively driving revenue across the business and breaking new ground in all of our marketing and promotional activities. The fusion of reality TV, live music and mobile promises to be a heady mix. This is a fascinating project and we are very excited to be associated with it.”
Neil McCallum, Commissioning Editor, T4, Youth & Music at Channel 4, commented: The Nokia Green Room is an exciting new development for music television, combining fantastic artist access (and interaction) with beautifully shot performances. Plus the shows format and varied booking policy will mean no two weeks will be the same, which in itself will make a varied and unpredictable series!.”
Commenting on the show from the record company perspective, Rob Wells, SVP, Digital for Universal Music Group International, says: “The Nokia Green Room is a great concept which I’m certain will be a huge success. I’m delighted to be involved in this launch.”
While heading up Initial, Malcolm Gerrie pioneered the drive into advertiser-funded programming launching The Pepsi Chart for Five, followed soon after with projects involving brands such as Smirnoff and Lynx and most recently the Orange Playlist for ITV.
Notes to Editors:
Nokia is a world leader in mobile communications, driving the growth and sustainability of the broader mobility industry. Nokia connects people to each other and the information that matters to them with easy-to-use and innovative products like mobile phones, devices and solutions for imaging, games, media and businesses. Nokia provides equipment, solutions and services for network operators and corporations. www.nokia.co.uk
The Nokia Music Store
Launched in the UK on the 1st November 2007, the Nokia Music Store allows users to access a catalogue of over two million tracks. Exclusive pre-releases from pop royalty, such as Kylie’s album ‘X’, sit alongside tracks from major artists, independent labels and up-and-coming UK acts. With a single account, music lovers can access the Nokia Music Store via their desktop computer or directly from optimised Nokia devices. Individual tracks will cost 80p per track and albums from £8.00. The Nokia Music Store also offers a monthly subscription for PC streaming for £8.00.
Whizz Kid Entertainment was launched in 2006 and is owned jointly by Ingenious Media Active Capital Limited (IMAC) and former Initial CEO Malcolm Gerrie. The company was created to produce top quality programmes across a wide-range of genres including Entertainment; Factual Entertainment; Events and Music and has experienced in-house specialists in each field.
In a short time Whizz Kid Entertainment has secured a raft of commissions including Countdown To Midnight: Take That & Guests Live At The O2 (ITV1 & ITV2), Happy Birthday Elton! (ITV1), The Orange British Academy Film Awards (BBC1), Beauty And The Best (6-part series for LivingTV), Help! I’ve Got A High Maintenance Wife (five) and The Complainers (a three-part series for C4) plus a major on-line production – the moonlight signing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for Bloomsbury Publishing. In 2006 WKE acquired digital content specialists, Tough Cookie who have placed themselves at the forefront of the booming online video market. Tough Cookie specialises in producing content and live events for brands, labels and cross-media broadcasters, providing live music and interviews for syndication.
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Tel: 0845 603 8498