Loudeye Launch Mobile Music Service in Norway

Loudeye and USArtPhone have launched a subscription-free mobile music service in Norway. Customers can buy music directly from their handsets, paying through their usual mobile bill. The bad news is that the tracks aren’t delivered to your phone – you need to get to your PC to access them. However, it’s a handy way for labels and music stores to sell content to people who don’t have credit cards – like the under 18s and insane.

The service, branded Mobster, will be available to all 4 million mobile customers in Norway, but Loudeye plan to roll the service out across Europe.

The service is simple for the user and requires only that they send a text message to a special number. The user is then sent an email with a URL in it linking to the file they have bought.

“We’re very excited to be able to announce this new technology in what is rapidly becoming one of the world’s biggest industries – digital music distribution,” said USArtPhone founder and CEO, Sverre Fjeldheim. “Over the past five years we’ve seen a completely transformative use of the mobile phone for much more than just verbal communication. Consumers are taking and sharing photos, text messaging and using the web, and through this announcement today, they will be purchasing digital music directly from their mobile handset. We believe this evolution will continue and mobile phone functionality will expand to include many interesting business models in the future.”

Hopefully that functionality will expand to being able to download Loudeye-licensed music directly to mobile phones for playback and storage.


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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?