PlayNow™ arena opens its doors in 5 new countries in the fourth quarter of 2008
Lund, Sweden—September 24th 2008—Sony Ericsson today announced the launch of PlayNow™ plus, a super-fast, high-quality music download service for Sony Ericsson customers, available for use on both phones and PCs. The service is due to launch commercially with operator Telenor in Sweden in the fourth quarter of this year, with further roll-outs around the world beginning in early 2009. A special edition of the Sony Ericsson W902 Walkman™ phone will be the first product released with an integrated PlayNow™ plus service.
PlayNow™ plus is due to set a new standard for the unlimited mobile music experience, with unrivalled download speeds, high-quality audio and access to the largest music catalogue of any unlimited download service. The service draws from Sony Ericsson’s collaboration with Omnifone and licensing terms have been agreed with all major international music labels—including EMI, Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music – as well as thousands of local music labels.
PlayNow™ plus will guarantee truly unlimited, ‘all-you-can-eat’ access to millions of music tracks. While in the service, subscribers will be able to recommend their music tastes to others in the PlayNow™ plus community, and at the end of their contract they will keep a number of tracks—DRM-free—from their most played favourites.
PlayNow™ plus is designed as the world’s easiest unlimited music service to manage as whatever you do on either your phone or your PC may be reflected on the other device. To add to the discovery and community aspects of PlayNow™ plus, TrackID™ charts, generated by Sony Ericsson consumers around the world, are also included. To kick-start the PlayNow™ plus experience right out of the box, Sony Ericsson plans to include, as part of the service, up to 1000 of recent popular tracks, both locally and globally, with each PlayNow™ plus phone.
PlayNow™ arena, Sony Ericsson’s multimedia service which launched successfully in the Nordic countries on August 25th, will now also be opening its doors in the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland in the fourth quarter this year. On board for the expansion and adding to the music offer in the existing PlayNow™ arena markets is Universal Music Group with its massive catalogue that includes many of the world’s best selling artists. This important addition also means that PlayNow™ arena will be one of the first legal music services in these markets to offer DRM-free music from all of the major and independent labels.
“The launch of PlayNow arena is a milestone in a la carte music services to mobile phones”, said Rob Wells, Senior Vice President, Digital, at Universal Music Group International. The combination of TrackID and the variety of digital products on offer through PlayNow arena is a highly compelling proposition on its own, but when the full track downloads are available DRM-free, the offer is even more compelling for consumers.”
Rikko Sakaguchi, Senior Vice President and Head of Creation & Development at Sony Ericsson comments on the market expansion and catalogue addition:
“Expanding our PlayNow service portfolio by adding PlayNow plus and by launching PlayNow arena in Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and the UK during the fourth quarter, are key elements of the Sony Ericsson service strategy. These steps and the addition of Universal’s catalogue to the music offering in both services gives us every possibility to provide customers and consumers with what we feel is important and requested – an unparalleled user experience on Sony Ericsson devices.”
PlayNow™ plus is the ideal service for the casual listener offering unlimited access to every kind of music and the freedom of discovery.
PlayNow™ arena provides the full range of mobile entertainment: an unparalleled mobile games offering; unique themes and wall papers; traditional and specially developed ring tones and music tones; a wealth of free content and of course; DRM-free music tracks and TrackID charts from around the world. PlayNow™ arena is the one-stop-shop for the collector and is open for everyone.
Ian Whitfield, VP Digital Business Development for EMI Music: “As the digital music market continues to evolve, EMI’s role is to bring artists and their fans closer together by giving consumers innovative, effective and legal ways to enjoy our artists’ music how they want to and PlayNow Plus is a perfect example of this. With the experience and reach of Sony Ericsson behind it, PlayNow Plus is a very exciting new service for music consumers and we’re very pleased to give it our support.”
Rob Lewis, CEO, Omnifone, commented; “Whilst Sony Ericsson handsets are already famous for their legendary audio playback quality, it is the addition of unlimited music, anytime, anyplace, that turns them into the next generation mobile music experience. We are delighted to have been chosen by Sony Ericsson, and to be working closely with them, to herald a new era in mass-market digital music”.
“The PlayNow Plus service offers music fans an innovative and exciting new way to explore SONY BMG’s rich catalogue,” commented Thomas Hesse, President, Global Digital Business and U.S. Sales, SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. “With such a vast collection of songs accessible through their mobile phones, consumers will have the opportunity to enjoy their favorites and also discover new music and new artists. We think this service is a great solution for consumers because it makes the listening and discovery experience more fun than ever before.”
Eric Daugan, Vice President, Digital Business, Warner Music EMEA, commented “Sony Ericsson and Omnifone have both separately pioneered the evolution of mobile music, so we’re delighted to now be working with their combined expertise on this highly innovative service. By bringing together a simple, compelling user experience with first -class music-enabled devices, Play Now Plus is a hugely attractive consumer offer and represents an exciting step forward for mobile entertainment. This wide-ranging music service will be a powerful platform through which fans will be empowered to quickly and easily discover, explore and enjoy our artists’ music wherever they are, whenever they want.”