Bronfman Calls For Easier Mobile Downloads; Announces Deals
February 14, 2007 at 8:51 AM (PT)
The music business has called on the mobile industry to simplify handset interfaces or risk losing out on a $32 billion music download opportunity over the next three years. WARNER MUSIC GROUP CEO EDGAR BRONFMAN JR. said the consumer downloads experience was “expensive, it’s complicated and it’s slow.” In a 3GSM keynote session, he said mobile players must respond by making it easier to get tunes onto cellphones.
WMG’s Q4 digital music revenue was up 45%, but BRONFMAN said, ”It’s amazing we’ve generated as much revenue as we have through mobile music, given how cumbersome the experience can be. Just imagine what we could do if it were fun and seamless. Music has the potential for explosive growth, [but] only 8.5% of [customers with music-enabled phones] use these phones to buy music. So far, we’ve re-engineered the very way we create music content. But to be frank, we often get very frustrated because user interfaces are really quite inadequate and so many of the world’s platforms are still not capable of handling even the most basic content configurations -- a ringtone or an audio track, for example.”
Itâ??s amazing weâ??ve generated as much revenue as we have through mobile music, given how cumbersome the experience can be.
BRONFMAN also announced WARNER MUSIC GROUP has new deals with two leading mobile operators to deliver its mobile music content across the MIDDLE EAST, NORTH AFRICA and EUROPE. WMG announced content deals with EGYPT’s ORASCOM TELECOM to deliver its catalog of mobile products such as ringtones and full track downloads in countries including ALGERIA, BANGLADESH, ITALY, PAKISTAN, TUNISIA and EGYPT.
Under the second deal, WARNER will work with NORWEGIAN telecom group TELNOR to offer its content in countries such as NORWAY, SWEDEN, UKRAINE and HUNGARY.
WARNER has been among the more aggressive of music companies to court new customers on the Internet and mobile phones, becoming the first music company to negotiate a deal with the controversial video-sharing site YOUTUBE, now owned by Internet search leader GOOGLE.