Mobile phone music off to a good start

Press release
7 minute read
Telenor's new mobile music service has got off to a good start: "Since the service was introduced in mid-April, weekly sales have been growing rapidly, with downloading of music to mobile phones now accounting for approximately five to ten per cent of the digital music market in Norway," says Jon Erik Haug, director of Consumer Mobile at Telenor.

Telenor's new mobile music service was first launched in April through djuice, Telenor's mobile brand targeted at the younger age groups, but is now available to all Telenor customers. In May alone, a total of 14,000 songs were downloaded, while the current one-day record was set on Friday 9 June, when 800 songs were downloaded. Today more than 10,000 Telenor customers have downloaded a total of 27,500 songs to their mobile phones, and there are now more than 450,000 songs to choose from in Telenor's mobile music archives.

"When the music festival Norwegian Wood kicks off in Oslo on Wednesday, Telenor will be there to campaign the new music service, and we hope to set new downloading records during the festival," says Jon Erik Haug.

A number of analysts and industry players now argue that the mobile phone will be the prime music channel of the future. Telenor anticipated this development and started its own research aimed at turning the mobile phone into a music machine already several years ago.

"Telenor has always sought to be at the forefront of developments as regards mobile phone music, both in Norway and internationally. We are therefore proud to be the first mobile operator to offer this service in Norway. 2006 will be remembered as the year when the conditions were finally right for distributing music via the mobile phone. Telenor now offers a mobile broadband service (3G) which is capable of providing coverage to 3.7 million Norwegians, and most songs can be downloaded in about 30-40 seconds. The mobile handset manufacturers have also introduced models which enable music lovers to fully enjoy music on their mobile phones," says Jon Erik Haug.

Music distribution is now a disputed issue, as was reflected in the music debate that Telenor staged in the Vigeland Park in Oslo on Monday. Many of the industry representatives who were present were naturally concerned at the falling sales of CDs, as well as the illegal downloading of music which is gradually become more widespread.

Telenor is seeking to make the mobile phone an important channel for distribution of legally downloaded music, and is working closely with the industry to ensure that this goal is achieved. Although Jon Erik Haug is convinced that the mobile phone will be the channel of the future for music distribution, he believes that the development of the mobile phone as a music platform presents considerable challenges for both the music industry and Telenor.

"This also means that we have to scrutinise every part in the value chain in order to ensure that we have consumer-friendly prices. Both the industry and Telenor are looking forward to the development of new distribution channels for music," says Haug.

In addition to downloading of music, Telenor also expects streaming to become increasingly popular, as consumers avoid eating up the mobile phone's storage capacity. At present, Telenor customers can listen to ten different music channels on their mobile phones - with no interrupting chat or adverts. Music videos can also be streamed or downloaded. In the longer term, Telenor will also broadcast concerts directly to mobile phones.

Telenor's estimate that it accounts for five to ten per cent of the total digital music market in Norway is based on figures provided by industry organisations and on the company's own figures.

Mobile top three (Telenor and djuice figures):

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Dani California"

2. Shakira: "Hips don't lie"

3. Gnarls Barkley: "Crazy"

Anders Krokan, Head of Information at Telenor

Number of songs downloaded on the mobile from 12 April to 10 June 2006 (Telenor and djuice)
Mobile phone

Facts about mobile music from Telenor and djuice

Downloading of music to mobile phones

  • Over 450,000 songs direct to mobile phones
  • AAC+ 64kbps (= approx. 128kbps MP3)

Streaming (online recording) of music

  • 10 music channels

Music videos

  • Both downloading and streaming
  • News from MTV

Original songs, background images, videos, competitions

Original tones, ring tones with original artists

Music news from Dagbladet, NRK and VG