Pump up the volume

The gauntlets are going down left, right and centre as some of the industry’s biggest players start facing off against each other in the mobile music arena. But the lines between content provisioning and content delivery are becoming increasingly blurred as companies from outside of the content space begin seeking a chunk of the revenue stream.

Nokia set the cat among the pigeons this month, with the promise of a music subscription service that lets users keep their music when they leave. This breaks the mould of the ‘music rental’ service typically favoured by the industry but also puts Nokia in a questionable position with its own operator customers. Meanwhile, the operators’ in house music portals seem to be taking a back seat as third party offerings become more attractive and the music labels themselves scramble to come up with a business model suited to digital distribution of their wares.

Here’s a round up of our recent coverage on mobile music:

3 UK goes radio ga ga

Nokia promises users music they can keep

Nokia gets Kylie before rest of world

Microsoft buys Musiwave for $46m

Mobile music gauntlet goes down

Free Stuff’s the right stuff for 3

Mobile music: quality verus quantity

Operators finally capitulate to third parties for content future


  1. Avatar Olaf Dunn 13/12/2007 @ 10:54 am

    November has seen many interesting developments in the mobile content industry. The news however seems to have been dominated by two main events. Firstly, the release of the Apple iPhone in Europe (which I have conveniently not discussed in my blogs due to the already excessive media exposure), and the Google Android platform. These events seem to have cast a shadow over some of the smaller news articles which underpin the movement of the content industry.
    The main topic of conversation at the moment is “Which revenue model do we use?” There are three current trends.
    1. Pay per song – The original payment method for digital media on the web and ring tones, but does this really capture mass market appeal?
    2. Subscription based – Payment on a weekly or monthly basis for unlimited downloads on an “all you can eat” plan. This sounds more appealing to the end user, but will it eat into their data costs? Will the user sign up and forget?
    3. Ad funded model – Content is sponsored through advertising, offering it free to end user, be it branding (audio ad in music) or short clips to be used as ring tones to promote the artists full album?

    With the expected value of the mobile music industry in the UK to leap to $156million in 2011, pay attention to the news..

    Read my entire blog entry at

  2. Avatar Amitabh Kumar 26/12/2007 @ 1:32 pm

    It is interesting to know that the Red Herring finalist for December 2007 is a company engaged in innovative content and applications for mobile multimedia and mobile TV. However it should not really come as a surprise considering that the Aug 2007 award also went to Mobile multimedia co. of China, – a mobile interactive video entertainment provider. China and India are yet to have mobile TV services introduced via terrestrial broadcast or 3G networks in a regular manner. At present 3G spectrum remains to be allocated and it is the 2.5 G networks which are used to deliver the “interactive multimedia services”.The licensing process for mobile TV is yet to take off.
    This highlights the high potential which is waiting to be unleashed in these markets. As per the Indian regulator’s report released on Dec 24,2007 the number of mobile customers in India grew by 8.85 million in Nov 2007 alone.

    What scenario can be envisaged when 3G spectrum is allocated and these networks come into existence in a year from now ? The mobile TV licenses for terrestrial delivery of mobile TV should also be in place by then. In China the driving factor is the 2008 Olympics.

    The number of TV channels in India ( as also Asia) has been growing very fast again highlighting the need for regional and local content as the economies grow in excess of 10% per annum.

    The three major trends- high economic growth, buoyant growth in mobile networks and need for innovative content for mobile Tv and mobile multimedia will usher in an explosive growth in the revenues for companies engaged in mobile multimedia.

    This also matches the high level of private equity which is now flowing in these sectors.

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