Service Turns the Mobile Phone Into a 'Remote Control' for PC Downloads Of Digital Music Tracks
Building on the success of the company's Music ID service, AT&T Wireless today announced the premier of the mMode Music Store, making the entire music discovery, sampling, and purchase process mobile for the first time in U.S. history. With the AT&T Wireless mMode Music Store, customers can discover, browse, listen to and purchase digital music tracks from a library of approximately 750,000 songs -- all right from the handset. Built in cooperation with Loudeye and Microsoft, the mobile music store is seamlessly integrated with the PC, so digital music tracks are downloaded to users' Windows PCs and billed automatically to their monthly AT&T Wireless statement or credit card.
How the mMode Music Store Works
AT&T Wireless subscribers access the mMode Music Store through mMode on their handset or online. Subscribers can search and browse the available music catalog by genre, artist, or song. When a track is selected, PC users or users with compatible handsets may then listen to a 30-second song sample and/or purchase that track, all with just a few clicks from their wireless phone.
Once a song or album has been purchased, subscribers then visit the AT&T Wireless mMode Music Store online to download the track to their computers. Users may then burn that track to a CD, or move it to any of the more than 70 portable devices supporting Windows Media.
For years, AT&T Wireless' mMode service has informed and entertained customers with some of the best-in-class applications available, from news and sports to gaming and dating. Today, the company turns up the volume on mobile music and significantly expands the functionality of the mobile phone to meet the insatiable demand for digital music. By tying to the company's popular Music ID service, when customers receive a text message with the name and artist of a song they've discovered while mobile, they can now click on a link to go straight to the AT&T Wireless mMode Music Store to buy that digital music track.
"When it comes to digital music, consumers don't want to be tied to their PC; they want their music experience to be mobile," said Sam Hall, vice president of mMode services for AT&T Wireless. "Now, consumers no longer have to scribble down the names of songs they've discovered and wait until they get home to download them onto their computers. The convenience and immediacy of our mobile digital music store lets users remotely explore and buy digital music while on the move."
As the market matures, the unique aspects of the music store's wireless distribution platform will allow for expanded music service offerings, as additional online music stores "go wireless" and handsets incorporate direct- to-device song downloads capabilities in the months ahead.
"For years, many companies have been promising to liberate music from the PC to give consumers ways to purchase virtually anytime, anywhere. The new AT&T Wireless mMode Music Store makes this a reality and makes it a snap to buy songs -- all purchases can go straight on your phone bill or credit card," said Ted Cohen, senior vice president, EMI Music Digital Development and Distribution. "The mobile platform is an important new marketing and distribution channel for our artists. Now, as soon as fans hear music they like, they can acquire it instantly using their phones and access it easily on their PCs."
The AT&T Wireless Music Store is powered by Loudeye Corp. (NASDAQ:LOUD) , a leader in business to business digital media solutions, built using Microsoft Windows Media(R) Audio 9 (WMA) and Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM). Loudeye provides a complete, branded digital music distribution solution, including an integrated online and mobile digital media storefront, scalable digital media application platform, and a suite of turnkey services.
"We are thrilled to be an instrumental part of the first mobile digital music store in the country, together with leading companies such as AT&T Wireless and Loudeye," said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. "The integrated music scenarios that AT&T Wireless is bringing to market deliver a more complete consumer experience and are the perfect illustration for the range of capabilities Windows Media 9 Series enables."
"The AT&T Wireless mMode Music Store demonstrates how digital media services can provide substantial value to end user experiences across a wide range of devices," said Jeff Cavins, Loudeye's president and chief executive officer. "The launch of the AT&T Wireless mMode Music Store is a significant step forward for the mobile music industry, and we look forward to working together in the future to build upon this foundation and continue to push the lines of innovation in the wireless music market."
Michael Nash, Senior Vice President, Internet Strategy and Business Development at Warner Music Group said: "We are excited about this important evolution of mobile music, enabling consumers to move beyond simply personalizing their handsets with ring tones, but also to acquiring full- length songs to their PCs through AT&T Wireless' mMode Music Store. This is a clear indication that the wireless space is fast becoming a diverse and significant new marketplace for our labels and artists."
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