Sony Ericsson – press Play Now

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Sony Ericsson is the latest to join the content fold with its ‘Play Now’ unlimited music service, scheduled for UK launch in Q1. But while upcoming handsets are to be preloaded with the application, the manufacturer has made clear its offering will come to market with the support of a network partner.

The service will launch first in the Nordic region on network Telenor. While there will definitely be a UK partner, a name has yet to be selected, says Sony Ericsson UK managing director John Harber (pictured), who also claims it is not about Sony Ericsson taking its offering direct to consumers.

He says the strategy is “a little different to some of our competitors” – namely Nokia, which officially launched its ‘Comes With Music’ unlimited download platform this month, but is struggling to attract a network partner because of the obvious conflict with their own music and content download services.

Harber sees Sony Ericsson’s method as simple common sense that allows everyone to play fairly. “We can’t go up against our biggest customers; we never would, because that is where we sell the majority of our phones,” he explains. “Why would you compete with your biggest customers?”

The balance lies in delivering an experience to customers that goes beyond the handset; moving with the content and services market to allow an integrated deployment, making partnerships with providers such as Google, while retaining the support of the networks.

Full article in Mobile News issue 425 (October 20, 2008).

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