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Universal Music Group has launched a D2C effort in the US based on premium SMS shortcodes. The service will offer direct access to music, mastertones, photos and the latest information on artists by texting artist related keywords to “30303” from mobile phones.
“Typically only the most popular artists are promoted “on-device”, which makes it challenging to reach diverse sets of audiences and leverage the power of the mobile channel for all artists. The 30303 shortcode allows Universal Music Group’s market-leading collection of record labels to create targeted promotions for specific fan groups, roll out the promotions using traditional marketing channels, and then sell the promoted content through mobile devices.”
Which is a very good point — a significant part of the cost of selling content direct to consumers is the marketing which is required, and if you plan to do a lot of marketing for something anyway it’s pretty easy to slip in a shortcode…it’s also probably a better way to go than creating a UMG WAP page, considering that people are interested in the artists rather than the label.
UMG has teamed up with Motricity for this initiative, which is very similar to the one launched in Holland last month.