Blog Post

Japanese Carriers Expand Music Features

The Music Media Watch e-mail newsletter from J@pan Inc Magazine (linked to in the title) has a great article on the mobile music strategies of Japans carriers, particularly for chaku-uta. Rumors are rife in the Japanese press that incumbent DoCoMo is in talks with Apple over an iTunes phone…”Last Friday, Fuji Sankei Business reported that such a tie-up appeared likely and could provide a strong boost to DoCoMo’s mobile music business. The article went on to suggest that DoCoMo’s strategy would likely focus on transfering songs from the PC to the phone rather than over-the-air downloads, and that the phone would be sold under DoCoMo’s brand rather than Apple’s.”
Apparently DoCoMo is focussing on transfering songs from the PC to the phone while rival KDDI is concentrating on over-the-air downloads: “On Sept. 28, the carrier announced that chaku-uta full had topped 20 million downloads in its first 10 months”. However, it has shied away from allowing third party chaku-uta full providers onto its menu…
Vodafone’s effort is a bit poor so far. The best take-away is the last paragraph:
“So, while Japan’s three wireless carriers are pursuing different strategies regarding full-music download and playback, one thing is clear: the market dynamics for full-song services are shaping up to be very different from those for previous music services such as ringtones and real music clips.”
Related stories:
Universal Joins Variable Pricing Fight
Realtones Capture 60% Of Ringtone Market
Artificial Life Signs Sony BMG For V-Disco