The battle of the brands

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Mobile music is on the rise. Everyone wants a piece of the action, with networks and manufacturers alike falling over themselves and each other to grab sponsorship deals and make themselves look committed to music.

Festivals, live events, TV shows and even the venues themselves are being sponsored, as every brand reaches out to grab hold of music – and the young and exciting connotations that go with it.

Handsets have become the hardest fought area, coming to a crescendo with the iPhone, while new online music stores are appearing faster than independent record shops are closing down.

But mobile music stores have been around before and not performed as hoped. While some barriers to success have been removed, QuoCirca analyst Rob Bamforth isn’t completely convinced.

Bamforth says: "There were some early feelers into the area, but pricing models didn’t stack up.

"Customers would pay the same amount it would cost to get it from the internet, but with the data costs on top it was far too expensive. One thing that’s changed is there are more flat rate data tariffs, but people on contracts aren’t necessarily the people that will buy music.

"There’s now more ways of fulfilling some of the appetite that might be there, but it depends on it not being prohibitively expensive for the target audience."

Full article in Mobile News issue 421 (August 25, 2008).

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