Online music marketplace aims to improve consumer choice

Service-imposed barriers are hindering the mobile music market, voeveo.com says

Advances in multimedia capabilities of mobile phones have yielded a $17 billion market with huge opportunities for marketing and sales, but still there are too many service-imposed barriers that are retarding the uptake of mobile music videos and audio, according to New Zealand-based mobile content Web site voeveo.com.

Most mobile content is currently delivered via mobile service providers either through their Web sites, or directly to their subscribers. While it is sometimes possible to access content from other sources, network restrictions can make this very difficult and expensive for users.

"Many content users find it difficult if not impossible to access or download other content such as games, videos, audio etc from independent and competing providers," said voeveo.com's solutions architect, Jeff Mitchell.

"For the most part consumers are currently presented with the limited and approved selections their mobile operators provide," he said. "In essence it is the operator who chooses, not the consumer."

In efforts to pander to the masses, selections of music and music videos available from service providers typically only include top selling artists. This leaves out upcoming and independent artists who would stand to gain from this type of digital distribution, Mitchell said.

To provide a space for mobile content producers looking to distribute their products, voeveo.com has been developed as an online marketplace where creators and buyers of mobile content can trade online.

The site allows content producers to set their own prices for their content, and communicate directly with existing or prospective customers. Consumers pay the price set by the producer as well as a service and delivery fee by voeveo.com and any fees incurred with their mobile operator.

For use of the service, voeveo also charges content producers 27.5% of all sales.

Mitchell raised the example of British band Koopa, whose downloads by mobile phone users recently helped propel one of its singles, Blag, Steal & Borrow, into the UK top 40 charts. "This is an isolated example, but it shows what can be achieved when digital music and videos are offered for sale via wireless media," he said.

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Liz Tay

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