Following the previously announced cooperation agreement between Motorola and Apple to port Apple's iTunes to dedicated Motorola music phones, today Ericsson and Napster announced their cooperation. However, unlike the previous Motorola/Apple announcement, here infrastructure vendor Ericsson and online shop Napster teamed to develop music services for carriers; SonyEricsson - the 50 % handset share of Ericsson isn't part of the announcement which might make this deal more interesting for carriers than the Moto/Apple deal (we are still waiting that a single carrier pick-up the Motorola/Apple phone):
Ericsson, the world's leading telecommunications supplier and Napster, the biggest brand in digital music, announced today a global partnership to offer the first complete, fully integrated digital music service available for mobile operators.
The service will carry the universally known Napster brand and combine elements of Napster's popular PC offering and Ericsson's personalized music service, currently utilized by more mobile operators than any other in the world.
The Napster and Ericsson business model accommodates mobile operator participation in all revenue streams. The service is scheduled to go live in Europe during the next 12 months and will initially be offered to operators in selected markets in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and North America.
Chris Gorog, Napster's Chairman and CEO says: "Ericsson's world-leading
wireless and telecommunications solutions experience, along with their
exceptional client base, make them the ideal partner to deepen Napster's
presence in the global mobile arena".
"Ericsson and Napster are uniquely
suited to offer mobile operators a simple, cohesive and personalized digital
music experience for their consumers," he adds.
The new service will support coordinated wireless and PC downloading of
digital music in both subscription and a la carte models, and phone-based
initiation will ensure convenient and easy music library access for both mobile
and PC usage.
The service scales to current handset models and networks but
can also accommodate next-generation technology for newer handsets on
higher-speed networks and is designed to work on mobile phones from all major
manufacturers that support content protected by digital rights management.
The flexible platform delivers a complete digital music solution under one brand via
a consistent user interface and with billing consolidated by mobile operators.
Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, agrees with Gorog's
statement: "With Napster we are uniquely positioned to deliver the easy to
use, complete suite of music offerings our customers are asking for".
"We gain access to the biggest digital music brand in the world andexposure to
the largest music catalog available, which will not only increase our
customer's consumer offerings and revenues but substantially strengthen
their own brand image as well," he says.
Napster's brand, catalog, label relationships, programming, PC and portable
offerings will be combined with Ericsson's operator
relationships, wireless development, integration, hosting, deployment and
support and IPX charging system.
The service will allow mobile operators to
seize growth opportunities for personalized digital entertainment on the mobile
phone and PC and will also encompass ring tones, master tones, images, wallpaper
and video content.
Sounds like an interesting solution for carriers who want to join the mobile
music business as well and reminds me a little bit the Nokia/Loudeye deal where I'm not sure if it is Nokia Mobile Phones or Nokia Networks who is the partner of Loudeye.
In case you are a North American with a Cingular/AT&T Mobile subscription: the Cingular/AT&T mMode music store is a Loudeye product.
Cheers ~ Arne