Blog Post

It’s All About The Music

If the launch of the iTunes phone Rokr E1 didn’t do much for either Apple or Motorola it certainly turned the spotlight onto mobile music, with companies like Microsoft and Napster reminding everyone that they have been doing mobile music for a while and Sony launching a new assault on the portable music player category with new Walkmans.
And still it goes on…
PacketVideo CEO James Brailean is predicting that the iTunes phone is just the start of an exciting time of music player and mobile phone convergence. “Looking ahead, Brailean sees ease of use as the key component to the adoption of music on wireless phones to enable access anytime, anywhere. “Right now you have to sit down in front of a PC and set aside time to purchase music,” Brailean says. Over-the-air capabilities support impulse buys. ”
On the other hand the Register ran a story claiming music phones were no threat to MP3 players. “A mobile phone-based player doesn’t offer much to a high-volume music consumer. The convenience of having to carry one device less will usually be outweighed by the design compromises that result…The exception is the low-end of the market, where casual listeners may look to load music on their phones rather than fork out for a dedicated playback device. Targeting such users with well-known names, as SonyEricsson has done with its Walkman-branded handset, makes sense, but is arguably more about competing with other phone vendors than attempting to win significant business from Apple, Creative, iRiver and co.” This is a very good point — people who buy music players aren’t going to be attracted to music-playing phones, but people who wouldn’t buy portable media players anyway may prefer a phone that plays music.
The Boston Globe saw the story as the mobile industry moving beyond the ringtone…and into the realm of music as a marketing ploy as well as a money spinner. ”It gets them out of the business of ‘can you hear me now.’ They can generate direct revenue from ringtones, but they also get to be associated with Green Day,” said McAteer, referring to the rock band.”
Related stories:
BBC Does Music Handset Comparison
Timbaland Launches Mobile Album Of Ringtones
Is The Time Right For Phone-Music Player Hybrids?
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