Blog Post

Digital Music Is Going Mobile

The record labels are banking on mobile music to break Apple’s monopoly hold on the market…”People say Apple dominates the download category, and that raises real issues for music companies and competitors,” said one top label executive, who asked not to be named. “They ask how anyone could really change that. Well, I think that the mobile space provides great opportunity for the competitive landscape to be transformed.”
How do they plan to do this? By offering a smaller selection and charging 2-3 times the price to download the song. “Labels and carriers see phone consumers’ willingness to pay $3 or more for ring tones–essentially phone rings customized with snippets of hit songs or other audio files–as evidence that they’ll pay more than 99 cents for a full song. Carriers also think consumers may pay more for the convenience of instantly buying a song wherever they are.”
ROKRThe convenience and immediacy factors could possibly get people to buy songs over the wireless network, but the labels and operators should understand that those kinds of services are low volume.
The article covers the state of the mobile music industry in the US pretty well, including the need for good marketing and Virgin Mobile’s opinion that mobiles aren’t ready for music no matter how much it costs.
Plus, of course, Motorola’s failure yesterday to produce the iTunes phone was mentioned. Motorola CEO Ed Zander assures us it is real and is “on the way”, but has apparently given up predicting (or even hinting) when it will actually arrive. Instead, Motorola released another music-enabled phone, the ROKR, which is incompatible with iTunes.
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