Vodafone Group and Sony NetServices announced a partnership to deploy globally what they claim is the world's first fully convergent music service. Vodafone Radio DJ will offer interactive, personalized radio channels streamed to UMTS handsets and PCs on a subscription basis. The service will launch in the coming months in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. Vodafone said its strategy is to become a leading global music provider. It will be interesting to see how mobile operators' involvement in music plays out. Vodafone hasn't announced pricing plans for the services.
Operators looking to create a presence in the mobile music value chain must either convince users to pay a premium for mobile music services (because they lose money if they offer prices comparable to iTunes) or find ways to compete head-on with online digital music providers. And like mobile TV, we still don't know how many wireless consumers will be attracted to mobile music.
For more about Vodafone's music service:
- see this article in The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)