Tuesday, January 24, 2006

JupiterResearch: Mobile music news from the MIDEM

Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch posts some more thoughts about MIDEM. He states SFR will be the first to offer the Vodafone Radio DJ service. Cost will be 9,99 euros for a monthly subscription or 1,99 euros / day. Husson posts some numbers from SFR:

  • 340K full-track music downloads for December only and 840K for 2005. According to Gfk, 20M paid songs were downloaded on the Internet. The ratio mobile / Internet is thus more than encouraging for a nascent market. No doubt mobile music stores will compete with the I-tunes, Fnac, VirginMega and HMVs of this world. SK Telecom, Korea's largest operator, claims to be the number one music store in Korea with 500k active users and 2M subscribers.
  • 360k music video clips were downloaded for the full year
  • 390k connexions were made to Music TV channels
He writes SFR will also launch a monthly subscription service for mobile users at 14,99 euros a month. Husson writes:
We are not used to "all you can listen" offerings here in Europe and this will definitively be a major news for mobile operators. I suspect much more to come with other labels. SFR now has an interesing range of music offerings from personalized radio streams to unlimited full-track downloads. Only one thing is missing yet : bundles between music and personalization items (ringtones, RBT, logos of the artists,...) but my take is that such offerings will flourish on the market later in 2006.
In other news, Husson concludes with:
the agreement allowing Ericsson to enable European mobile operators to distribute ringtunes and full-track downloads from EMI's catalogue in Europe. I thought the M-use platform (the name of the managed hosted services package offered by Ericsson to carriers wishing to provide their subscribers with music-based content services) was already offering EMI's catalogue. So far, the solution is white-labelled but the global partnership with Napster should enable carriers to benefit from the Napster brand. So far, customers using the M-Use platfrom are based in the Nordic countries (TeliaSonera and Tele2) except Sunrise and Swisscom in Switzerland. It does not appear to have a huge success. Nokia / Loudeye partnership, announced more than a year ago at the 3 GSM, did not perform particularly well. Does Nokia need a music brand as well or do operators prefer to rely on mobile specialists such as Musiwave and to a lesser extent Melodeo or Groove Mobile ? Not easy to say in the long run, but Musiwave and Sony Net Services are performing very well.