Orange: Using free music downloads to attract youth market

Orange and Universal music have launched a music streaming service that aims to attract subscribers and reduce piracy. The new ‘Monkey' service is targeted at 16-24-year-olds who don't own 3G handsets or have mobile Internet packages but it will provide users who top up €1.16 each month with 600 minutes of music streaming.

According to Pippa Dunn, director of pay-as-you-go at Orange, the company is funding the service as an acquisition tool, similar to its successful two-for-one cinema offer ‘Orange Wednesdays', which it hopes will result in increased top-ups and long-term loyalty. "It's a great opportunity to acquire an audience that will increase their average spend and represent the future of our pay-monthly business too."

Universal Music said it considered Monkey a valuable weapon in the war on piracy as it looks to meet Digital Britain's target of reducing piracy levels by 70 per cent within the next two years. Rob Wells, VP of digital for Universal Music International, said, "It's essentially a piracy play. A large proportion of the demographic this is aimed at aren't spending a great deal on legitimate music."

Commenting on the launch, Ovum said that Monkey was well positioned on basic low cost phones at a time when Spotify was still waiting to sign with Apple's and Google's high-end smartphones that target a slightly older, wealthier consumer.

However, the research firm added that the immediate problems for Orange following this announcement will be to persuade the other three major music labels to join Universal on Monkey, as well as persuading online Spotify users to sign up or stay with Orange instead of saving up for a Spotify-compatible phone.

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