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.