ARCHIVE: March 2005

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March 31, 2005

Boundaries to Radio on Cell Phones

Some thoughts on why Motorola's iRadio service might not gain much traction in the market...

With all the talk about cell phone companies making the move (most recently the Motorola iRadio mentioned here last month), you'd think it was a shoo-in. It's not.

Youth have interest because the act of getting music on cell phones shows a technical savvy that's impressive to friends - until you get down to how much it could cost. Rates haven't been announced because it's not clear how the money is going to be divided. What portion goes to the music? What portion goes to the cell phone carrier (Verizon, Cingular, etc.)? Currently nobody's talking.

More on cell phone radio

More on Motorola's iRadio Service

Motorola iRadio is getting closer and closer. Howard Wolinsky of the Chicago Sun Times interviewed Dave Ulmer, director of marketing for media solutions at Motorola.

There wasn't much new news to report. Howard described the expected sales channels to be used:

"Although Motorola hasn't priced the service yet, Ulmer said iRadio will be sold through a variety of channels, including cell phone carriers, such as T-Mobile and Cingular; online music services, and retailers, such as Best Buy and Radio Shack."

Regarding Motorola's use of Bluetooth in cars, $50 to $75 Bluetooth adapters will be installed in unused CD changers in the back of car radios. Audio will then be broadcast wirelessly via Bluetooth onto car radios.

Regarding user experience, Howard noted, "Motorola will build in a button for consumers to click on tunes or programs to read background on artists, and to add to a "wish list" from which they can buy tunes."

I can't wait.

March 27, 2005

Motorola Unveils Music Models: iRadio and Hijacked Mobile Handsets

James Middleton of Telecom News wrote about Motorola's unveiling of two new mobile music handsets, the "Hijacked" series and the "iRadio" series:

"Teaming up with MTV, Motorola is offering HIJACKED mobile handsets, which allow the user to be an MTV karaoke star or graffiti artist, while iRadio, which will offer hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels as well as a personal music collection."

The Motorola E680i includes over two gigabytes optional memory and Bluetooth stereo headphones. The device will be available in the Asia-Pacific region in April.

The Motorola E725 EV-DO device allows you to sync your music collection with your PC or download over-the-air with an optional 2GB storage.

The Motorola E685 offers an MP3 player with stereo headset jack, VGA camera and 1xRTT data capability. The Motorola E685 will be available in 1H05.

MobileTechNews gives an excellent breakdown of Motorola's iRadio and Hijacked mobile music handsets.

March 25, 2005

Motorola iRadio: New Phones, No iTunes Yet

Jennifer LeClaire from Tech News World wrote about new phones Motorola presented; iTunes phones were not present, however.

The Motorola E680i, with more than 2 GB of memory, allows users to transfer, store, catalog and enjoy their favorite tracks. The Motorola E725 model lets users wirelessly download their favorite music tracks and videos to their handsets.

The Motorola E685 features an MP3 player with stereo headset jack, VGA camera with photo and video capture, and the iRadio promises to mobilize hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels as well as a user's personal music collection.

The world will have to wait for an iTunes phone, however.

Motorola iRadio

According to Telecoms.com, Motorola's iRadio will offer hundreds of commercial-free Internet radio channels as well as a personal music collection.

The accompanying handsets include the Motorola E680i with over two gigabytes optional memory and Bluetooth stereo headphones. The device will be available in the Asia-Pacific region in April. Meanwhile, the Motorola E725 EV-DO device allows you to sync your music collection with your PC or download over-the-air with an optional 2GB storage. While the Motorola E685 offers an MP3 player with stereo headset jack, VGA camera and 1xRTT data capability. The Motorola E685 will be available in 1H05.


March 09, 2005

Virgin Internet Radio Broadcasts to 3G Mobile Phones

Virgin Radio Broadcasts Internet Radio To 3G Music Mobile PhonesVirgin Radio has made a number of its internet radio stations available on 3G phones:

Virgin Radio has become the first station to broadcast globally over 3G phones. The technology from Sydus mobile streaming services has made this possible, no matter where you are; Tokyo, Toronto or Chicago, if there is a wireless signal, there shall be music.

Anyone with a compatable phone can download Sydus software from Virgin Radio UK and start listening to Virgin Radio (rock and pop), Virgin Radio Groove, or Virgin Radio Classic Rock, for free.

This could be both good and bad for services like Torian and Motorola iRadio. The service could familiarize consumers with the practice of using cell phones for music players. It could also take the wind out of the sails of a Motorola iRadio launch in late 2005. Consumers satisfied with free, mobile internet radio may be unwilling to pay a monthly fee for Motorola iRadio.

Internet radio listeners, especially fans of indie music, unsigned artists, and garage bands, will still appreciate Motorola iRadio's breadth of listening options. However, many more internet radio providers will enter the music mobile phone arena before Motola iRadio launches this Christmas.

March 03, 2005

BBC Internet Radio Use Jumpw 70% Over One Year

BBC Internet Radio Increases UsershipInternet radio usage increased 70% in January from the same time year ago. BBC Internet radio networks 6 Music, Asian Network's Top 40 Soundtracks, Radio 3, and Radio 4, a sample of the many internet radio providers that exist, all experienced record numbers of users in January, per About.

That's great news for internet radio service, Motorola iRadio, Torian, and other digital radio services.

March 01, 2005

Mobile Phone Music Downloading Unlikely To Succeed

Motorola iRadio may have an advantage over the bulk of mobile music phones being released to the market this year.

Berlecon Research Mobile Phone Music ReportBerlecon Research, as noted by Ringtonia, suggests the mobile phone music download model is unlikely to succeed as a profitable business model. Margins on music sales are simply too low. Instead, Berlecon advises that other approaches or features will be found to be more or equally valuable to consumers.

Motorola iRadio's portable, wireless internet radio subscription service is certainly a novel approach to music distribution.

MusicGremlin's portable, WiFi music subscription service with social networking functionality is another.

Berlecon's conclusion is similar to the one expressed by WirelessIQ regarding mobile phone music services mentioned in an older post, which suggested that device features would determine ultimate success, not speed to market.

iRadio Waves tracks news, buzz, and gear related to Motorola iRadio and the world of mobile radio. (iRW is not affiliated with Motorola)

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