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Research and Markets : SK Telecom Acquires the Rights from Record Companies for Music to Use as Ringtones, Ringbacks and Full Version Downloads: Next Generation Trend Letter.

DUBLIN, Ireland -- Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c21314) has announced the addition of Next Generation Trend Letter/ Volume 1, Issue 6 to their offering.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Making Mobile Music Work: SK Telecom

South Korea's largest cellular company, SK Telecom, has provided a mobile music portal service called 'MelOn' since the end of 2004. MelOn is the first integrated, wired and wireless, music service that allows users to enjoy music virtually anytime, anywhere using a portable MP3 player, a PC, or a mobile phone.

The main MelOn interface is a music download and streaming Internet portal, www.melon.co.kr. The service is akin to a rental service, with users "renting" tracks on a monthly basis for use on various terminals. MelOn users pay a 5000 won (US$4.50) monthly subscription to stream music to a PC or download tracks to their phone as long as their subscription is current. Digital rights management (DRM) wrappers on the music guarantee a subscriber is current, and tracks are erased from the end-user's library at the end of the subscription period. To download tracks onto the handset, users pay for airtime at regular call rates, regardless of the size of the track.

The key to the model is its ubiquitousness, downloads are possible using wireline and wireless platforms, and a relatively affordable monthly subscription fee. SK Telecom acquires the rights from the record companies for music to use as ringtones, ringbacks and full version downloads. Music companies are not necessarily enamored by the scheme, but SK Telekom has generally used its market heft to have its way. To further strengthen its position, SK Telekom acquired Korea's YBM Seoul Records, reportedly Korea's largest record company.

The MelOn service has received tremendous response from the marketplace, with the number of purchasers and paying subscribers virtually doubling each month. As of early June 2005, MelOn had recorded 2m subscribers; the number of paying subscribers that enjoy an unlimited amount of music for a monthly flat fee increased as well, reaching 470,000. According to SK Telecom, the site ranked first among Korean paid music sites in terms of revenue

FEATURES

BT - The Fusion of Fixed and Mobile Services is Out of the Bag

BT has revealed details on its new consumer Fusion service, arguably the world's first fully convergent service. The service is attractive, but will need more handsets and a migration from Bluetooth to WLAN if it is to succeed.

Belgacom Wins Belgium's Football Rights: The Future of Telco TV?

Belgacom has won exclusive football TV rights in Belgium, trumping cable and TV broadcasters. The Belgian carrier should be applauded for its sheer brazenness. We just don't think other telcos will follow suit.

NTT DoCoMo's i-Mode Felica and Contactless Payments - Mind the Merchant

Squeezing wallet functionality into a mobile phone is a logical progression; after all the ubiquity of the mobile phone is without compare. For contactless payments to work however, merchants need to buy into it, and that is no easy task.

The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence: Walls Around Operator Portals are Bound to Collapse

T-Mobile's web'n'walk service is an early indication of how operators are warming up to the Internet model over the walled-garden approach with content. About time, we argue.

3 QUESTIONS

Positioning WiMAX with Harris Corporation

SNAPSHOTS

Mobile Alliances - Consolidation by Another Name?

Microsoft Pockets another IP TV Contract

Life beyond the 30-Second Commercial

For more information visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c21314
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Jul 25, 2005
Words:584
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