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T-Mobile launches Ear Phones: a new category in music, Browse, download, store, play music in your mobile phone

  • A Mobile Mix. First Mobile Music download service based on Open Mobile Alliance Standard.
  • Ear Phones backed by all major handset manufacturers and the music industry – Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music.
  • Additional content and artist support from Independent Music Labels V2, Kontor, Edel and Chrysalis Mobile.
  • Mobile Jukebox - one stop, digital mobile music players. 3 clicks to download. No need for a separate music player. High quality sound. Digital rights protected.
  • Browse free. New singles available up to 2 weeks before they’re in the shops.
  • 5 launch Ear Phones handsets. 12 by Christmas. 1 million Ear Phones sold by mid 2005; 4 million by end 2006.
  • Motorola to launch new E398 music player phone exclusively with T-Mobile with major launch campaign.
  • Launch catalogue 500 mobile mix tracks. 250,000 full-length tracks by Christmas.
  • Download in 30 seconds 3G; approximately 2 minutes 2.5G.
  • By end year, download full length tracks as well as video music tracks, compatible with enhanced digital rights management standard.
  • Amy Winehouse sings at Ear Phones launch party and will release her next single on Ear Phones. Leading DJ’s endorse Mobile Mix.
  • Jupiter Research estimate €5.8 billion market by 2008. Forrester Research estimate $100 billion global market by 2008 including conversational access around content.

London: Monday 28 June, 2004.

T-Mobile, the second largest mobile group in the Western world, today announces the launch of Ear Phones, introducing a totally new category in music, enabling customers for the first time to browse, download, store and play CD quality, digital music in their T-Mobile phones.

Mobile Jukebox, the most recent product of the Ear Phones collection, is based on an open standard for the Mobile Mix format, which is already the de facto global mobile music standard for digital rights management - the Open Mobile Alliance Standard 1.0 (OMA 1.0). This standard and the enhanced future version for full track is already backed by all major handset manufacturers and by over 60% of the global music industry. Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music are partners, as are a number of independent music labels, including V2, Kontor, Edel, Compost Records, Stereo De Luxe and Chrysalis Mobile.

Music is already mobile. Ringtones outsell CD singles in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and other markets. They account for 60% of all mobile content downloads. Real Tones, a piece of real music in your phone, have already been launched. Caller Tunes, replacing the century old ‘ring, ring’ sound when you call another phone, were launched in December in the UK, Germany in February (as Sound Logos) and in the Czech Republic in March.

Already over 500,000 T-Mobile customers use Caller Tunes. They will be launched soon in other T-Mobile markets.

Now Ear Phones go a lot further.

Ear Phones introduces a new music mix – Mobile Mix – 90 to 120 second mixes of music tracks. Music labels, artists and DJ’s commonly produce a range of mixes of the same track. Now there is a mobile mix.

Mobile Jukebox lets T-Mobile customers browse, download, store and play music in their phones – wherever they are, whenever they want. There is no need for a separate music player; no need to download to your PC first.

Digital music players are already broadening individuals’ music listening. Customers are using them to sample music they’ve never before listened to. With T-Mobile Ear Phones, customers can sample and pre-listen– free of charge. The Ear Phones ‘music bar’ is free.

Ear Phones is simple and rapid. With Mobile Jukebox, three clicks and you can browse and download. On 2.5G phones, download is approximately 2 minutes a mobile mix track. On 3G phones, it is around 30 seconds a mobile mix track. This compares with download times of from 8 to 10 minutes, even up to 20 minutes, on dial-up speed fixed line internet – still the only form of fixed line internet access for 75% of European internet users. It also compares favourably with most broadband, fixed line download times. And, with Ear Phones, there is no second stage of transferring from PC or Mac to digital music player; no need to buy a separate digital music device.

Uniquely, Ear Phones also enables customers to download music before it is available in the shops. Over 40% of total physical music sales take place within 2 weeks of release. Prior to release, new singles are previewed on radio. T-Mobile customers will be able to download new singles up to 2 weeks before they are in the shops, at the same time they’re being previewed on radio.

Amy Winehouse, who is singing at tonight’s Ear Phones launch party at the Hitchcock Gainsborough studio, will launch her next new single with an Ear Phones Mobile Mix. Tonight’s Ear Phones party will be attended by leading music industry figures and celebrities, including leading DJ’s – Jon Cutler, Jon Coomer, Danny Milano and Jarphie S among them.

Headlines have been taken by the launch of digital music players. There are now around 6 million players in the world, around half of them iPods. At the same time there are over 1 billion GSM mobile phones in the world, 250 million in Europe, and 50 million in the UK, all of them in principle capable of playing digital music. It will not be long before most T-Mobile phones are Ear Phones. At current rates of sale and upgrade of customer handsets, T-Mobile conservatively estimates it will have sold over 1 million Ear Phones by mid next year, and over 4 million by end of 2006.

Ear Phones launches with 5 new handsets supporting mobile music downloads. By Christmas, there will be 12 handsets in the collection.

Ear Phones launches with Real Tones; Caller Tunes and now Mobile Jukebox.

Ear Phones’ Mobile Jukebox has access at launch to the full catalogue of its label partners Universal Music and Sony Music, and starts with 500 mobile mix tracks covering relevant music genres, plus new tracks up to 2 weeks pre their general release. By Christmas, Ear Phones’ Mobile Jukebox catalogue will extend to over 250,000 full-length tracks. It will keep growing.

Significant content and artist support will also be provided by the Independent sector. Independent Label V2, whose stable of artist include The Stereophonics and LibertyX and new signings Raghav and Estelle, will support Mobile Jukebox from launch. T-Mobile is working to secure content from V2, Kontor, Edel, Compost Records, and Stereo De Luxe and Chrysalis Mobile who have all expressed concrete support for the format and for the initiative.

By year end, Ear Phones will enable both downloads of full-length as well as Mobile Mix tracks. By Christmas, Ear Phones will introduce video music track downloads.

Ear Phones can today store from 20 to 80 Mobile Mix tracks or 10 to 40 full-length tracks. With memory cards, this increases to up to 250 mobile mix tracks and 100 full-length tracks. Storage capacity will grow beyond these levels.

Previews on Ear Phones are free.

The cost per download track will be £1.50 / € 1.50. This compares favourably with the prices of CD singles and of digital download by fixed line, bearing in mind the typical £200 to £500 purchase cost of a separate music device. Ear Phone handsets will launch at around £29.99 / €59.95 for post-pay customers pay-as-you go phones will be available in the coming months.

No definitive forecasts are possible of the size of the mobile music market. Already, however, ringtone sales are a €850 million market in Western Europe. Jupiter Research estimates mobile music will be a €3 bn market in Europe by 2008 for ringtones, plus a €2.8 billion market for logos, icons and animations. Forrester Research points out that the market for conversational exchange and access around music could be worth over $100 billion worldwide by 2008.

As important, Ear Phones will help change the perception of a mobile from being just a phone. Mobiles are set to become as synonymous with music as they already are with voice.


Nikesh Arora, Chief Marketing Officer, T-Mobile, said:
“Music is part of everyone’s life. Now it can be part of their mobile life - wherever our customers are, whenever they want. If the technology had been available to provide music in your phone when mobile first launched, by now this world would probably have 1 billion mobile music phones. Now the technology is available, and we’re launching Ear Phones - simple, rapid download, high quality music in your phone.”

Boyd Muir, Executive Vice President, Universal Music International, said:
"The mobile is the ultimate portable device - and bringing music to one of the world's largest customer groups is the most exciting opportunity that the entire music industry has seen in decades. How tremendous that people will be able to take their favourite artists and songs with them wherever they go, and how impressive that T-Mobile is making this happen."

Jim McDermott, Senior Vice President, New Technologies, Sony Music International, said:
"We are excited to be working with T-Mobile on a variety of innovative initiatives that will provide consumers with new ways to get the music they want whether they are at home, in the office or on the move. People everywhere are passionate about music, and they have an increasingly personal relationship with their mobile services. We believe that music and the mobile space will continue to converge as a lifestyle focal point, and we intend to ensure that our artists realize the full benefit of that convergence."
 


Ear Phones Event

Quote Sheet
“If the technology had been available for mobile phones to be music players when our industry was created, probably all mobiles today would be digital music players.”
-- Nikesh Arora, Chief Marketing Officer, T-Mobile International

“We believe that music and the mobile space will continue to converge as a lifestyle focal point, and we intend to ensure that our artists realize the full benefit of that convergence."
-- Jim McDermott, Senior VP, New Technologies, Sony Music International

"The mobile is the ultimate portable device - and bringing music to one of the world's largest customer groups is the most exciting opportunity that the entire music industry has seen in decades. How tremendous that people will be able to take their favourite artists and songs with them wherever they go, and how impressive that T-Mobile is making this happen."
-- Boyd Muir, Executive VP, Universal Music International

"Our participation in this partnership underlines mobile music's strategic importance to WMI. Practically speaking, it's very exciting for WMI to work with T-Mobile on developing yet another format and distribution channel and, most important, offering consumers another path to their favourite artists' music."
-- Jay Durgan Senior VP, Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, Warner Music International

“The Mobile Music Market is fast becoming a critical part of our business. It’s essential that the music industry continues to embrace music distribution possibilities with partners to provide alternative products and services such as T-Mobiles Music Jukebox, offering music fans new ways to access and enjoy music.
-- Beth Appleton, New Media and Business Development Manager, V2

“Chrysalis Mobile is keen to be involved with and to support T-Mobile with Mobile Jukebox. We believe that mobile music will transform the way in which people acquire and listen to music and we are delighted to be involved with T-mobile in enabling this transformation.”
-- Ian James, MD, Chrysalis Mobile

"T-Mobile 'Earphones' will help Motorola drive a new category we call 'wireless music' -one that connects fans and bands anywhere, anytime. Motorola is developing a complete portfolio of music devices and experiences including the E398, the first digital music player that also happens to be a great mobile phone. We will launch this product with T-Mobile this fall and are collaborating with a major artist to enable an unprecedented, innovative and fresh mobile experience for music fans - watch this space!"
-- Leslie Dance, VP, Director, Global Marketing & Communications,
Motorola PCS

"Nokia is delighted T-Mobile is launching Ear Phones. Mobile media consumption is a major part of the continued growth anticipated for the mobile industry and music is at the forefront of this. There are already hundreds of thousands of devices in the market optimised for the content on offer through T-Mobile's Ear Phones, which will hopefully facilitate quicker revenue return and provide value-added services to the consumer. The fact T-Mobile is also supporting the OMA open standard is a big plus point. Nokia is happy to give support to this significant initiative."
-- Gavin Russell, Nokia Multimedia Business Group Director

"Compelling music services are emerging as the hottest mobile
application. T-Mobile's Mobile Jukebox service builds on open standards
and is easy-to-use. We are delighted that the Sony Ericsson's K700i
will be one of the first phones to support this innovative service."
-- Haroon Alvi, Vice President Application Planning at Sony Ericsson

“It sounds good in the club…it sound good on the radio…and now it sounds good on your mobile…’in the mix’!”
-- Jon Cutler, DJ, Distant Records, New York
 

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