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First 'Single Price' mobile music download services on offer to consumers
mBlox and New-Visions remove charging ambiguity of off-portal mobile music downloads


London, UK - March 27, 2006 -- mBlox, the world's largest mobile transaction network, and New-Visions, a mobile specialist focused on providing marketing solutions to the entertainment industry, are launching the first off-portal music track download services where consumers pay 'one price' to download music with no additional operator data charges. The services, which are launching later this week, are made possible through mBlox's wholesale data service and are being provided by music labels Ministry of Sound (MoS) and V2. The services will feature new releases and classic tracks from artists including Stereophonics (Dakota), The Rakes (All Too Human), Lethal Bizzle (Mind Your Head), Studio B (I See Girls), Boogie Pimps (Somebody to Love) and DJ Sammy (Heaven).

The operators' data charges for downloading content are often cited as the reason for the slow uptake of rich media services on mobile. Currently consumers are not only paying for the value of the content via premium billing but also for the cost of the data traffic to deliver the content. Consequently, songs that are approximately 1MB in size can cost consumers the 1.50 charge for the song plus an additional 8 in data charges (data charges may vary). These extra charges make the cost of downloading to mobile unacceptably high and can put consumers off downloading music or other media content. In solving this, mBlox's new off-portal charging model provides another avenue for music labels and artists to go directly to the consumer rather than through an operator's WAP portal or a mobile retail portal, and will provide consumers with extra choice to download the tracks they want to hear.

To expose mobile subscribers to music and other rich media content, mBlox worked closely with Vodafone to develop an innovative wholesale data model which mBlox can now offer to content providers like New-Visions. These new data tariffs are low enough to be bundled with the cost of the song and provides the consumer with a single cost for both the content and the download. This means consumers on Vodafone buying from MoS or V2's WAP site, created by New-Visions, will not incur any data charges on their mobile phone bill.

Julia McNally, director of New-Visions, said, 'New-Visions has launched many official WAP sites for artists on the V2 and Ministry of Sound labels before but the data charges were just too high to support music downloads. This is not only bad for the consumer but for the artists involved. With the mobile music business - from ringtones to full-track downloads - now worth 3.2bn (source: Informa Telecoms and Media), wholesale data tariffs will enable music labels and artists to bring music and video downloads directly to consumers on the move. We chose to work with mBlox because, as the leading mobile transaction network, it has pioneered the development of this new business model and has the trusted relationships with the operators we need to make off-portal music downloads a reality.'

'We are very excited about this new service as we are always looking for new ways to offer dance music to our customers,' said Patrick Hagenaar, mobile operations manger at the Ministry of Sound. 'We have been selling music and video downloads for over 1.5 years now, but so far have been restricted to sell our content through the operators' portals as it hasn't been feasible for us and our artists to sell directly to our customers due to the high data charges. We are keen to trial this new service with New-Visions and mBlox as we feel that D2C is the way forward for us: it's easier for us to interact with our customers, build lasting relationships and as a result offer a wide range of dance music downloads according to their needs, rather than being restricted to operators' priorities. There is a lot of great dance music out there, which is big in the clubs, but doesn't get a chance to be sold as music downloads through the mobile operators, so this is a great opportunity.


Publisher Contact Information:

mBlox Limited
+44 (0)20 7608 2500
mblox@hotwirepr.com

Company profile of mBlox Limited
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