Orange UK Refines Music Strategy

Orange UK has launched a new music service as well as three “Great for Music” handsets as part of its strategy to make a splash in mobile music. “Find Music” aims “to help people buy, receive, listen and even interact with music in much more spontaneous and exciting ways,” the company says. Orange will sponsor concerts and events, tickets for which can be purchased via WAP.

Orange told the Guardian it’s seeing 50,000 full-track downloads a month from its OrangeWorld Music service, a far cry from KDDI’s 1 million per month from its Chaku Uta Full service, but nothing to sniff at given the newness of Orange’s 3G network.

But Bobbie Johnson at the Guardian’s Onlineblog raised a good point to Orange execs: why should users pay GBP 1.50 for a mobile download from Orange versus 79p from iTunes? One responded the premium is there because of the mobile aspect, being able to download music anywhere. It’s hard to see this holding true, particularly with the next round of music-focused handsets from several vendors on the horizon. When sync from a computer to mobile is simplified, it’s doubtful users will see the value in paying for a mobile download service against getting more flexible files — for less — from computer-based systems.

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