Sony Ericsson Launching Music Service

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Sony Ericsson today announced it is planning to launch M-Buzz, a new mobile and Web-based music service featuring new and developing artists. M-Buzz is designed to play off synergies within the larger Sony corporate entity, first by partnering with Sony/ATV Music Publishing to bring full tracks, videos, bios, and other artist information to music fans, and second, to provide M-BUZZ via the company’s existing PlayNow music service.

“Today’s announcement is another great example of the cooperative spirit that exists between Sony Ericsson and other Sony Group companies, which gives us a unique opportunity to bring appealing, innovative content to our mobile phones,” says Miles Flint, Sony Ericsson president. “M-BUZZ enables music fans not just to hear new, unsigned acts, but also to find out more about the musicians through interviews, home movies and more, creating a new mobile music experience.”

Via the new service, consumers will be able to download music to Sony Ericsson phones in just four clicks; at launch, M-BUZZ will support Sony Ericsson’s W850 and W950 Walkman phones, and be available in 20 markets which already support ecure over-the-air music download capabilities via Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow service. And the intitial artist roster? Probably no one you know. Kish Mauve, Embassy, Dirty Perfect, FKLV, Iggy, The Head Set, Bobby Kray, Anjulie, Lights and Monte*Rosa.

Also missing? The North American market. Sony Ericsson’s Walkman phones are targeted at markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with Asia and Latin America being added during the second half of 2006.

M-BUZZ will initially feature a limited number of music acts hand-picked each month from Sony/ATV’s worldwide artist roster—which, as a mobile music service, actually makes M-BUZZ pretty anemic, and pretty squarely classifies it as a promotional vehicle for breaking and promoting Sony/ATV artists, rather than as an alternative or competitor to other mobile music services or Web-based online music download services. But Sony Ericcson plans to develop additional “commercial aspects” as features are built into the M-BUZZ offerings; maybe that’ll eventually transform M-BUZZ into a real music service. And maybe, one day, they might bring it to the United States.

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