& cplSiteName &

Music to My Mobile

Sarah Thomas
8/28/2014
50%
50%

Wireless operators may be busy beefing up their networks to support video, but music is clearly the service that is catching their eye (ear?) the most in the US.

When it comes to promotions, partnerships and zero-rated app offers, music is the main focus in the US today. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) has a partnership with Spotify for a free six-month trial for its customers. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) inked a deal with Beats Mobile, which we should hear more about soon, now that Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has acquired Beats. And this week, T-Mobile US Inc. added six additional music partners to its toll-free Music Freedom service, which it says has seen 7,000 terabytes of music streamed since its launch in June. (See T-Mobile: You, Seven Nights & the Music, AT&T's Strategy Boss Puts Content First, Apple Confirms Beats Buy for $3B and Sprint Plans More Bundled-Content Offers.)


Find out more about telco apps and services on Light Reading's mobile services channel.


In response to operators' growing interest in mobile music, Opera Software ASA 's Skyfire division today added streaming audio optimization capabilities to its Rocket Optimizer software, initially built to optimize mobile video traffic. As support for the popularity of mobile music, the company cites a Strategy Analytics Inc. study that says 77% of mobile users listen to music on their phones -- 70% at least once a week.

Operators are using mobile music as a way to differentiate their service and increase customer loyalty, and it's an approach that makes a lot of sense. Offering video as a toll-free app that doesn't count against the data cap would be a non-starter: The network would crash under the weight of it. Streaming music is a more network-friendly, lower bit-rate app that resonates with a wide range of customers. It's the low-hanging fruit.

What's more, they are finding willing partners in the over-the-top music services. In the past, operators have tried to pave their own way with mobile music -- attempts that ultimately failed, with the exception of Cricket's Muve Music. As a partner service offering, they're finding their customers are actually quite interested. (See Will AT&T Muve to the Music? and Comes With Carriers?)

That said, it's still a service operators will need to keep an eye (ear?) on, as listeners have been known to stream music for hours on end. It can still be a bandwidth-buster, and the economics make less sense the more it's used over LTE. (See 10 Ways to Mind the Mobile Data Cap.)

It'll be interesting to see what the next mobile app is to catch operators' interest (Games? Enterprise functions? Photos?), but for now, music is clearly the sweet spot.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(14)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 3:47:06 PM
another thing on streaming
Having music on your mobile is one thing. But unlimited choice isn't everything:
Nobody wants 20 million songs. Music fans want 20 awesome songs for what they were doing in a particular moment. They want them picked and sequenced by someone who knows lots about music.

One of my former editors, Jon Maples (http://jonmaples.com), wrote that at the beginning of the year and I think it holds up. If you're looking for a good source on the music industry and digital streaming, he's more knowledgable about those subjects than most mobile network operators. 
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/29/2014 | 4:24:41 AM
Re: The sound of money
Agree, as Youtube's user experience doesnt exactly allow a flow of contineous music you can listen to. But it is just one direction it can go to as Youtube is highly available, hosts rich content  and simply very practical. 
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 1:15:21 PM
Re: The sound of money
Agreed, YouTube is not great in many contexts. 

But I think YouTube is great for discovery. Because everyone in your online life can access it, and send links and recommendations that everyone else can play back, you can get great exposure to music that people share becasue they it. I like recommendations from friends and contacts as much as (more than, probably) machine-generated discovery.

If you like something, then you go and find a better quality source (via download or streaming, or vinyl, etc.)

 
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 1:00:23 PM
Re: The sound of money
It is important for music marketing. I don't listen to YouTube while in the car, at the gym, hosting a BBQ or sitting at my desk. I do use it for music discovery, though, and I imagine students who have more sitting/watching/istening time might use it a LOT vs. paying for services.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 12:54:11 PM
Re: The sound of money
YouTube is important in the streaming music discussion. I read somewhere that it's THE top music service based on number of plays. I can believe that. It's free, the catalogue is extensive, and I see lots of people using it for music.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 12:33:26 PM
Re: The sound of money
Apple was pretty far behind in streaming music unless you owned a lot of music, then iTunes Match is pretty good.

For streaming, music discovery and sound quality, Beats helps Apple out a lot.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 12:24:44 PM
Re: The sound of money
Phil -- is Apple a little behind in terms of a streaming music service?

Quite a few iOS users I know have turned to Spotify and are gradually dropping iTunes.
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 11:14:48 AM
Re: The sound of money
I've been a Rhapsody Music user almost from the time Robert Glaser left Microsoft to found Real Networks.  In fact, I pretty much skipped the entire era of downloading files and "tunes" because streaming seemed like a better technology (although, at the beginning the quality might not have been perfect).

I was a bit disappointed that Virgin, my carrier for many years, announced new data caps as they shift to LTE (why else would I want it except for data/media)!   I still have my mobile Wimax connector from Clear/Sprint which thankfully is unlimited, but I'd have to carry around a hotspot modem in addition to a phone or tablet to get it to work!

It doesn't make much sense to me that for $35 a month I was able to subscribe to unlimited Wimax mobile with Clear but that a phone carrier wants to charge me much more for LTE with a cap on it.   And especially in light of what you've written about LTE-only handsets.   What I've always really wanted instead of just a smart phone is the UMPC -- the Ultra Mobile PC.  An small, portably, long life, always networked device for doing computing outside, at the same costs as inside.
futurephil
50%
50%
futurephil,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 11:00:23 AM
Re: The sound of money
I think Apple and Beats will be a great combo here and there's a lot of integration work that needs to be done.
  • Beats Tune Your Taste vs. Apple Genius algorithm
  • iTunes Radio vs. Beats Tastemaker feeds
  • iTunes Match vs. Beats Download/Offline Mode

Because of the purchasing tie-in, I can imagine that musicians would be more likely to list their songs for streaming on Beats because the purchase via iTunes could be influenced much more directly, immediately.

Also, Beats is a cross-platform play. It could be Apple's key to getting some meaningful mobile app-related revenue from Android users.

-ph

 
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/28/2014 | 9:59:43 AM
Re: The sound of money
Yes, the music business went through the same digital destruction as the print media business, with just about the same results. Those at the bottom of the old trickle-down model -- namely the content creators -- have felt the impact the most. I wonder whether musicians still feel the same about the evil, parasitic record companies now that they find themselves selling t-shirts and CDs out of the back of their vans.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
This week in our WiC roundup: Cell C's CEO under fire for radio show comments; Clinton plays the woman card; Intel discusses diversity backlash; and more.
WiC is proud to have Cisco, Hitachi Consulting, Infinera, Netcracker, Redknee, NetNumber and Open Networking Foundation joining our cause.
This week in our WiC roundup: a father-daughter war of words; a new face for the $20; a look at venture capital firms; and more.
2016 finalists for WiC's inaugural Leading Lights -- Most Inspiring Woman in Comms, Female Tech Pioneer of the Year and Female-Led Startup to Watch -- are revealed.
This week in our WiC roundup: entry-level women ask for more money – and get it; Verizon workers demand better contracts; 4-H refocuses around STEM; and more.
From The Founder
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
    December 6-8, 2016,
    June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events
    Infographics
    A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
    Hot Topics
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed
    BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
    In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
    Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
    Animals with Phones
    Live Digital Audio

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.