Warner Music Japan and KDDI Corp. have announced an agreement which will allow access to what is billed as the world’s first mobile music bundle: a package of audio, video, graphic and text content in a single, downloadable file. The service is available on au’s CDMA 1X WIN network and launched on 1 December with Sean Paul’s Za Trinity album. The partners’ press announcement [in Japanese] indicates a steady flow of new material in the pipeline for 2006. The music bundles are available on Warner Mobile – also known as ‘WAMO’ – which aims to allow club members to gain earlier-than-anywhere-else access to the label’s releases, artist interviews and live event schedules.
The downloadable ‘WAMO Packs’ include a variety of mobile music products such as videotones, mastertones and Flash screensavers and menus as part of a single download with the intention of letting customers customize their cell phone with their favorite artist. WAMO Packs also contain bonus material, such as video commentary from the artists, detailed information about the artists and their music, photos, cover art and links to web sites for additional information online.
This evolution in mobile music will come as no big surprise to those who attended the Mobile Monday Tokyo event at KDDI’s Designing Studio in June!
“Digital bundling is one of the most important components of our industry-leading product innovation efforts,” says Andrew Dunbar, General Manager of New Media at Warner Music Japan. “Today’s groundbreaking agreement with KDDI, a global leader in mobile music technology, expands our partnership and again demonstrates our commitment to bring music fans a wide array of music-based products: anytime, anywhere.”
“This new type of digital download represents the cutting edge of mobile music entertainment available anywhere in the world today,” said Makoto Takahashi, Vice President and General Manager of the Contents and Media Division at KDDI Corporation.
Warner will initially offer a WAMO Pack from Sean Paul and additional material from other Warner Music artists including Ayaka, a female Japanese debut artist, and D.D.D., a Japanese female teen dance pop group, in the near future. Eric Clapton’s latest album, ‘Back Home,’ is also featured on the service’s site with what appears to be a six-part interview with the legendary performer.
WWJ notes with interest that the studio version of the first single, Revolution, is freely available at EricClapton.com in both Windows Media and QuickTime formats!So how cutting edge is this new service? It appears to be based on tried-and-true technologies: audio, video and Flash. And the content itself — songs, images, artist info, concert info, links to web sites, etc. — is already mainstream. But the combination of everything a mobiler needs to customize her phone wrapped up in one package plays on a proven aspect of Japan’s mobile Internet and could lead to a tidy boost in downloads. The most successful services in the past have all had at least one thing in common: convenience and ease of use.
If WAMO Packs take off in the market, expect to see the other carriers and content providers scramble to copy the model — which could in the long run eliminate any content competitive edge that au appears to have gained with their 1 December launch.
– WWJ Editors