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  • Omnifone in International Partnership to Power Sony Ericsson Unlimited Music Phones
  • Sep 23, 2008

Omnifone in International Partnership to Power Sony Ericsson Unlimited Music Phones

  • Sony Ericsson chooses Omnifone to power PlayNow™ plus unlimited music service
  • Omnifone and Sony Ericsson agree licensing terms with all four majors and leading independents
  • Revolutionary Keep Your Favourites functionality lets consumers keep a specific number of tracks, in MP3 format, for no extra charge

24 September 2008, London  Omnifone today announces it has signed an international strategic partnership with Sony Ericsson, to power a wide range of unlimited music phones. The service, PlayNow™ plus, is due to debut with Telenor in Sweden later this year.

Martin Blomkvist, Director and Head of Global Content Acquisition & Partner Management, Sony Ericsson stated, “Omnifone was the clear partner of choice for PlayNow™ plus. As the leading independent provider of unlimited music services, Omnifone has enabled us to deliver the most innovative and attractive solution for our operator partners and end-users”.

The PlayNow™ plus-enabled mobiles will come bundled with up to 1,000 pre-loaded tracks at purchase and, at the end of the initial subscription period, will enable consumers to retain a specific number of their favourite tracks in a DRM free MP3 format for use on their next phone, desktop PC or any other digital music device.

“Omnifone’s partnership with Sony Ericsson for PlayNow™ plus will drive global mass market uptake of legal unlimited digital music downloads on mobile,” said Rob Lewis, CEO of Omnifone. “Walkman™ is the world’s most iconic portable music brand and Omnifone is partnering with Sony Ericsson to bring a fully integrated unlimited music downloads service to millions of Walkman mobile users, with the potential to increase operator music revenues whilst providing unlimited music to consumers, with the ability for consumers to convert their favourite tracks and keep them DRM-free forever.”

PlayNow™ Plus consumers will also be able to download unlimited amounts of music to their desktop computer, using PlayNow™ plus Desktop, which synchronises effortlessly with the PlayNow™ Plus mobile experience, using broadband and 3G/HSDPA connectivity.

PlayNow™ plus over-the-air music downloads will be fast, utilising the state-of-the-art high quality eAAC Plus format, with very fast track downloads. PlayNow™ plus is integrated into Sony Ericsson’s TrackID™ music recognition service enabling unlimited direct-to-device music sampling and downloading for no additional cost. PlayNow™ plus is also fully compatible with the Sony Ericsson PlayNow™ a la carte service which allows consumers to purchase individual music tracks DRM-free, on a track by track basis.

International pre-licensing and DRM free tracks for PlayNow plus

Omnifone and Sony Ericsson have agreed licensing terms with Universal Music Group, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, EMI Music, Warner Music Group and leading independents for DRM-free Keep Your Favourites (KYF) for Sony Ericsson handsets with unlimited access to a vast international content catalogue, localised for each individual market.

Rob Wells, Senior Vice President, Digital, Universal Music Group International stated; “We believe the combination of Omnifone’s leading edge unlimited music capability paired with Sony Ericsson’s popular range of music phones will have lasting implications for the delivery of digital music services globally. Consumers will have the ability to download, play and share music, on the brand of devices which were ultimately responsible for starting the mobile music revolution.”

”The PlayNow™ plus service offers music fans an innovative and exciting new way to explore SONY BMG’s rich catalogue,” commented Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. “With such a vast collection of songs accessible through their mobile phones, consumers will have the opportunity to enjoy their favorites and also discover new music and new artists. We think this service is a great solution for consumers because it makes the listening and discovery experience more fun than ever before.”

Ian Whitfield, Vice President, Digital Business Development for EMI Music: “As the digital music market continues to evolve, EMI’s role is to bring artists and their fans closer together by giving consumers innovative, effective and legal ways to enjoy our artists’ music how they want to and PlayNow™ plus is a perfect example of this. With the experience and reach of Sony Ericsson behind it, PlayNow™ plus is a very exciting new service for music consumers and we’re very pleased to give it our support.”

Eric Daugan, Vice President, Digital Business, Warner Music EMEA, commented “Sony Ericsson and Omnifone have both separately pioneered the evolution of mobile music, so we’re delighted to now be working with their combined expertise on this highly innovative service. By bringing together a simple, compelling user experience with first class music-enabled devices, PlayNow™ plus is a hugely attractive consumer offer and represents an exciting step forward for mobile entertainment. This wide-ranging music service will be a powerful platform through which fans will be empowered to quickly and easily discover, explore and enjoy our artists’ music wherever they are, whenever they want.”

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