OD2 Allows Users to Pay for Music Through Mobile Bills

Companies offering digital music downloads have long had a problem with getting revenue from their core market – as many music buyers are under 18, they won’t have a credit card. However, a quick glance at the top deck of any bus, or inside a chip shop, will clearly demonstrate that most of them have mobile phones.

On Demand Distribution (OD2) the company that supplies the music service behind sites like Virgin and Freeserve, has come up with a scheme that will allow purchasers to charge the cost of music downloads to their mobile phones. The system, developed by MChex and launched on March 22, is simple: purchasers send an SMS with a code to a premium number and the cost of the message is then charged to their bill.

Paul Smith, OD2’s UK marketing manager, said: “This payment option opens up our services to a much wider demographic. It will allow younger fans to control their own music spend, without having to hijack their parents’ credit card.”

Of course, this wheeze is just moving the payment stage one step further down the ladder and may cause problems for parents who pay their children’s mobile bills, if they’re not on a pay-as-you go plan.

On Demand Distribution

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?