Rating: Talking to other MNOs about whitelabelling music service
After years in the doldrums, the music industry is finally beginning to pick up again – chiefly fuelled by digital music sales. One person hoping to capitalise on this is Chris Gorman from MusicQubed. He told GoMo News that he believes he’s found a niche which is lucrative for both the MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and the music industry labels. Gorman says that rival services [eg Spotify] focus on the music enthusiasts who are prepared to pay to get want they want. By contrast, MusicQubed’s aim is to entertain the masses and that’s what it has just done as the power behind O2’s recently launched O2 Tracks music service.
MisicQubed’s aim is to offer white labelled services similar to O2 tracks to other MNOs worldwide.
He wouldn’t be drawn on the subject but at least one MNO is in advanced talks with his company and three others are very interested.
The chief advantage to MusicQubed is the fact that revenue is shared with both the network operators and the music labels.
Gorman claims that in the past, deals between the two industries were very hard to broker because both parties felt they brought most to the party.
The networks had the subscriber base and the billing systems whilst the music labels had the talent and the tracks which people wanted to listen to.
MusicQubed is able to sit in between the two and keep both parties happy, Gorman claims.
Although O2 tracks is a UK based service, the good news for Brits is firstly that you don’t have to be on O2 to enjoy the service and secondly that you get a few weeks free in order to trial the service.
The only thing that puzzled us where Gorman’s claims that his service employs highly compressed data to download the tracks to your handset.
The figure he gave is that the 40 plus or so tracks which are sent to the handset consume not much more data than six tracks being streamed to a smartphone.
That’s good news for the MNOs, because it will put a very light load on their data networks. Plus, typically, the updates to stored tracks are downloaded over night.
But then why does the app default to suggesting very strongly that you download the content via a Wi-fi connexion if you have one?
Surely, you want subscribers to burn up their data subscriptions so you can charge more? Or, perhaps, you don’t want to upset them.
See our review of O2 Tracks here.