Thursday, January 28, 2010

Universal Music Group expands direct-to-consumer mobile efforts

Universal Music Group made a deal with music publishing company Netbiscuits to help them launch mobile websites and services. UMG is going to offer fan-to-fan interaction and the ability to make purchases directly from smartphones across the iPhone, Android, and Windows Mobile platforms. This will be made possible through artist-branded mobile websites.

From UMG's press release:

“Thanks to the support we are getting from Netbiscuits, we’ll be in an even better position to extend these artist opportunities and products across the widest array of available wireless devices. Through their exclusive technology, we’ll be able to offer consumers truly engaging mobile music experiences, that include the chance to generate their own content, leaving comments, uploading pictures, and chatting with each other via these mobile sites. UMG will continue to lead the way in adopting the latest technology to offer fans the most dynamic interactive musical experiences possible.”

Ran Farmer, Managing Director of Netbuscuits Inc. says, "We’re very excited to help Universal Music mobilizing so many of the world’s most famous music artists. All these artists going mobile means to me that the mobile web today really is a mass market phenomenon. Adding the right mobile commerce strategies and technologies to the mix finally paves the way for real revenues coming from the mobile channel."

This seems like a pretty smart move to me. It reminds me of what I said about a mobile trend in my 15 page research paper about the future of the music industry. In short, I guessed that cell phones would soon play a role in making more money in the music industry. I think the biggest challenge the industry is always dealing with is how to effectively compete with free music [that people illegally download]. Pretty much everyone uses a cell phone in today's world and this could be new technology that people will be interested in checking out and even buying into, thus generating more income for artists and the business.

- Samantha Bruno

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