ARCHIVE: Motorola

April 28, 2006

More on Billboard's Praise of iRadio by Motorola

When I wrote about Billboard's praise of Motorola yesterday, I only linked to an excerpt of the article.  Thanks to a reader, here's an image of that article's cover page (click to read):

Billboard article praising iRadio Motorola 

The article is actually specifically giving props to iRadio, which I didn't realize before.  Very cool.

April 27, 2006

Billboard Praises Motorola Over Nokia and Samsung

Antony Bruno at Billboard.biz gave huge props to Motorola in the article Handset Companies Dial Up Music, which looks at mobile phone manufacturers' efforts to offer compelling music-centric services.  To quote from the summary:

  • With entertainment content emerging as a priority for the wireless industry, the mobile phone is becoming an important element of the value chain - a consumer electronic device in its own right - rather than just a device to access a network.
  • Wireless phone manufacturers like Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and others are taking an aggressive approach to score exclusive content by partnering with record labels and creating their own music-centric services to elevate their products over those of their competitors.
  • Perhaps the most aggressive handset manufacturer in the mobile music market is Motorola.

The recently launched StudioMOTO and the upcoming iRadio service are nice examples of this.  Nice job, Motorola team. 

(Note: The full article is only available to Billboard subscribers; the excerpt is here.)

UPDATE:  Thanks to a reader, we now have more than an excerpt!  You can now see an image of the iRadio Billboard article.

April 26, 2006

iRadio to Charge $10 Per Month?

The Digital Journal posted a short update blurb on iRadio, stating that iRadio will cost $10/month.  That's a bit higher than the $5-7 price tag suggested by earlier Motorola press releases.  Granted, DJ got a lot of facts wrong about the iRadio service:

  • There will be roughly 620 iRadio channels including 101+ weather channels, 70+ audio book channels, and 20+ classic radio channels. (Not only 435 channels)
  • Sony BMG signed with iRadio last month (Warner and Universal aren't the only labels who've joined).
  • Motorola is not spelled "Mo-torola."  (At least, I don't think so.)
So hey, anything's possible.

April 25, 2006

Motorola Launches StudioMOTO, Mobile Video Remixer

This is actually pretty cool.  StudioMOTO, which launched yesterday, looks like Motorola's attempt to connect directly with the youth market by offering a cool, free, music-focused, entertainment portal. StudioMOTO includes two remixing applications that enable the creation of videos and animations using pre-selected content:

MOTORemix allows users to remix video clips from bands including Bang Sugar Bang, Dave The Hustler, Paco, and The 88, and save them to a GSM phone or email them to friends.  The interface is all drag-n-drop.  Here's a screenshot:

MOTO Remix for videos
 

MOTOGraph enables users to remix break beats, text, symbols, and animations into a single video clips.  The clip can then be shared with friends via email or saved to a GSM phone.  Here's a screenshot:

MOTO Graph for animations and ringtones

 

This is probably part of Motorola's push to generate additional brand awareness and and further differentiate the services it provides.  StudioMOTO includes a "MOTO Products" section to introduce new gear to consumers, and an "Inside Music section, which is basically a news feed taken from Rolling Stone. 

How will iRadio be integrated with or advertised through StudioMOTO when it launches, they're both targeting two very different customer segments, youth customer vs. early adopting gadget fan...

April 18, 2006

Linux Fans With Motorola Phones

Motorola FansMotorolaFans is a forum community interested in open source applications for Motorola phones.  If something involves Linux and a Moto handset, these guys are all over it.  Registered users get access to a bunch of cool stuff including emulators, skins, wallpapers, multimedia, hacks, etc.  Definitely check it out if you're interested...the site is signing up about 50 new users daily, and growing.

April 07, 2006

Motorola Cleans House at CTIA Wireless Emerging Technology Awards and Technology Marketing Awards

Well, CTIA Wireless 2006 is now over, and Motorola CEO Ed Zander will be returning home with a stack of coasters bling award plaques from the Emerging Technology Awards and Technology Marketing Awards ceremony.

Check out Motorola's winnings:

Category: Hardware - Mobile Phone/Camera Phone
1st place for Motorola SLVR L7

Category: Best Overall Campaign
1st place for Motorola RAZR & PEBL

Category: Broadcast Media - Television
1st place for Motorola PEBL

Category: Direct Mail & Collateral
1st place for Motorola SLVR

Category: Print Advertising - Color
2nd place for Motorola RAZR

Category: Print Advertising - Color
2nd place for Motorola RAZR
3rd place for Motorola PEBL

Category: Hardware - Wearable Wireless Device
3rd place - for Motorola and Burton Audex(TM) Jacket

Category: Consumer Application - Mobile Entertainment Application
Honorable Mention - Motorola Inc. Connected Home Solutions for Motorola iRadio(R)

Add iRadio's honorable mention above to the DEMExpo "Best Radio Service" award, and you're got a nice set of bling for a service that hasn't even launched yet..!  But a nice showing by Moto in all of its recent ad campaigns -- kudos to the marketing team.

A side note worth mentioning, CTIA Wireless attendees voted the Samsung T509 camera phone "Best In Show"...as a direct competitor with the RAZR, and the slimmest US handset to date, it's worth checking out.

April 05, 2006

iRadio Partners With MediaBay and AccuWeather For Audio Books, Classic Radio, and Local Weather

Motorola made a couple huge announcements today at the CTIA Wireless conference.

First, Motorola partnered with MediaBay to offer Audio Book content (including audio books, educational and language courses, audio newspapers, self help programs, and audio travel guides) and Classic Radio programming (including popular radio shows from the past such as The Lone Ranger and The Shadow) to iRadio subscribers.

Second, Motorola partnered with AccuWeather to provide local weather forecasts for over 100 US cities to iRadio listeners.

I am not 100% certain if these additional programs will be included as part of the basic subscription including 435+ commercial-free channels...it seems like they are.  I'll post an update once I confirm.  (UDPATE: they are -- see below)

Deals such as these illustrate the advantage time-shifted radio has over satellite radio; Sirius and XM are both limited to under a couple hunder content channels, while iRadio can expand indefinitely to include taste-targeted, media-targeted, and geo-targeted content.  Calculate:

435 channels of content + #,### channels of consumer-generated channels (made available through the iRadio Get Heard Network) + podcast compatibility = a whole lotta options

Quite frankly, it's a little overwhelming.  But quite cool.  Talk about attacking the "Long Tail" of demand...

UPDATE:  The 101 weather channels, 70+ audio book channels, and 20+ classic radio channels are indeed all part of the basic iRadio subscription.  That makes for roughly 620 channels of included radio programming...impressive!

Sony BMG Signs on with Motorola iRadio

Sony BMG Music Entertainment became the third major record label to sign on with Motorola's iRadio music subscription service.  As with the Unversal deal and Warner deal, Song BMG's huge catalog of artists will now be avaialable on any of iRadio's 435+ commercial free channels.

As part of the agreement, Sony BMG will provide exclusive programming to iRadio, in a similar way that Universal and Warner have agreed to provide artist-exclusive channels.  Expect to see channels involving Sony BMG artists such as Avril Lavigne, Pink, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Dre, Tool, Usher, etc.  More will be known closer to launch...whenever that is, anyway. (really, I'm not bitter...;)

With Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, and now Sony BMG having joined iRadio, only EMI Group remains to sign.  That announcement will probably arrive soon -- the Gorillaz, which are an EMI Group band, recently partnered with Motorola to provide media and technology at a series of Gorillaz concerts...so, at least some kind of relationship between EMI and Motorola is already in motion.

March 31, 2006

Motorola Uses Gorillaz Marketing Tactics

Gorillaz and Motorola Team UpMotorola and the animated band, the Gorillaz, announced yesterday a strategic alliance surrounding the band's Demon Days Live concert series taking place in NYC.

I was a little disappointed to learn that this did not mean Motorola CEO Edward Zander would be busting the rhymes alongside the Gorillaz.  Instead, Moto will be providing exclusive Gorillaz wallpapers, animation, mobile game demo, and other fun stuff.

Clearly, it's a match made in heaven -- according to Jason LaBeach, Sr. Dir. global category marketing:

"Motorola and Gorillaz is a perfect match not just because the band is renowned for their incredible music, but also due to their desire to work with groundbreaking and progressive technology."

Another step closer to the "cool" side for Moto.

March 28, 2006

CoolPrepaid and Motorola Part Ways

According to PC Magazine, Motorola recently terminated its relationship with CoolPrepaid (formerly cool.Prepaid).  It's quite a swift turn of events; CoolPrepaid had just recently announced their intention to release Motorola iRadio-enabled phones, such as the SLVR and RAZR, last week.  However, both CoolPrepaid and Motorola delivered conflicting messages regarding the launch; this latest update may partially explain why.

CoolPrepaid will be focusing their business on offering prepaid cards for unlocked GSM phones, which will be a bit of a challenge; more details here.

March 16, 2006

Motorola and Boost Mobile Launch Music Biz 101 Contest

Music Biz 101 ContestInteresting.  25 lucky 18-26 year old college student music industry wannabees will win all expense paid trips to New York City to attend the Music Biz 101 Symposium on April 19th.  As well as a Motorola Boost Mobile i875 handset.  Not too shabby.

An incredible roster of technology leaders, label managers, and artists line the speaker roster...I kind of wish I could attend myself.  (Come on, Moto, I'm right here in NYC, there would be no need for hotel or transportation arrangements..!)  Check out this sampling from the roster:

  • Jason Hirschhorn (CDO, MTV Networks)
  • Timbaland (big-time hit producer)
  • Mimi Valdes (Editor-In-Chief, Vibe Magazine)
  • Mona Scott (President, Violater Management)
  • Zeeshan Zaidi (VP, Digital Business Operations Group, BMG US)
  • Scott Richman (VP & GM, AOL City Guide, AOL Music)
  • Lee Abrams (CPO & SVP, XM Radio)
  • Moni Wolf (CDO, Motorola iDen products)

I'm not sure what's driving the event, but it probably has to do with establishing a little more buzz and recognition for Motorola's and Boost's respective products and services.  Peter Aloumanis, general manager, U.S. Markets Division, Motorola’s iDEN® Mobile Devices, gave the philonthropic explanation, "Motorola not only has a long standing commitment to education and technology, but provides key experiences that tear down the barriers between music producers and music consumers."

Whatever the case, the event looks quite cool.  And you get a free phone.

If you fit the bill, hey, apply.  Warning:  you'll have to write a 500-word essay.  Ha!

March 14, 2006

Motorola RAZR Flaw Attracts Flak, Then Back on Track

Last week, a manufacturing flaw found in a small group RAZR phones led to a halt in sales and a flurry of press.  (A flaw in any other handset probably wouldn't have attracted as much attention, but this was, after all, the mighty mighty RAZR.)  Apparently, some phones sold after Feb 1 were dropping calls and rebooting upon opening.  Oops.

Fortunately, according to Motorola, only a small batch of phones were affected, and sales would be able to resume by the end of this week.  And in fact, RAZRs are already returning to store shelves.  You can't keep a good phone down.

March 04, 2006

iRadio Partners with BlueBeat, Media Rights Technologies

I'm a little late on this announcement:  Motorola recently signed on BlueBeat, a subsidiary of Media Rights Technologies, to provide programming for iRadio.  You can read the press release here, and an article about the relationship here.  The name was new to me, so I looked up some info...

Some background on internet radio site BlueBeat, according to the site:

We have created and now operate the world's best-sounding and most secure digital radio service at www.bluebeat.com. BlueBeat delivers over 500,000 tracks and more than 400 music channels in secure MP3 music streams reaching 320kbps, anywhere, anytime.

Some background on Media Rights Technologies:

Media Rights Technologies creates and licenses content management and enablement solutions, empowering the effective distribution of any digital content: entertainment, personal, commercial, or educational.

BlueBeat's home page mentions the iRadio relationship, stating, "...BlueBeat is the first music provider for Motorola's iRadio service!"  This is surprising, since the relationships with Clear Channel, Universal, and Warner were announced much earlier.  Either way, more content is always welcome.  I like BlueBeat's Time Machine page, containing a ton of free streamable playlists...though I have yet to try it.

Kelli Richards, President and CEO of All Access Group, seems to be the glue in this relationship.  She is both Senior Advisor to Media Rights Technologies, and Entertainment Alliances Manager for Motorola in the Connected Home Division.

Perhaps BlueBeat will be providing the additional 200 channels that were mentioned earlier?

March 03, 2006

Pininfarina To Design Uber Sleek Motorola Phones

Ferrari designer, Pininfarina, will design dozens of phones for Motorola over the next three years.  The amazing success of the RAZR has demonstrated the value of unique, ground breaking design.  Moto's looking to repeat.

We've already seen the iRadio Solstice.  Will we see an iRadio Ferrari out of all this?

Motorola iRadio News Catch-Up

I've been traveling over the last week on business, without much time to write about iRadio or Motorola, which is a shame since there have been several interesting little tidbits floating around.  Since I'm going to be away for another week (somewhere sunny and warm, this time), I'll play a little iRadio Motorola news-catchup...starting now.

 

 

February 22, 2006

Auto Industry Takes Notice

Autoblog just mentioned the iRadio Motorola press release, expressing interest, but stating that the "solution" description was a bit vague.

There's always that balance to maintain between creating buzz before a launch, and launching with a big bang.  I'm sure we'll hear more soon.

February 15, 2006

MSFT-MOTO Hookup Anticlimactic?

Seth at the Motley Fool seems unimpressed with Motorola's and Microsoft's recent mobile Windows Media Player announcement:

The promise of corporate conflict might make for good headlines, but more often than not the showdowns promised are about as dramatic as the 3rd grade spring pageant.

He points to the following in support of an anti-climax:

  • High prices for mobiles song downloads (usually starting at $1.99)
  • Nokia made the same announcement last year regarding WMP on their phones
  • Motorola has already been making phones with Windows Mobile OS for some time
  • MSFT is just trying, as always, to make its OS as ubiquitous as possible

There's always a nay-sayer in the crowd...who makes very interesting points.  Still, one must consider the fact that 42 million iPods have been sold, versus 2 billion mobile phones worldwide.  There are a lot of consumers that might be happy to buy a music phone, rather than two separate devices.

As Seth mentioned, it'll all come down to consumer preference.

February 14, 2006

Motorola Embraces MSFT, Still Sticks With iTunes

I love it.  First Motorola announces that the ROKR E2 will run iRadio instead of iTunes.  Then Motorola announces at 3GSM that it will be developing a line of music phones using Windows Media technology instead of iTunes.  Too funny.

Unlike the ROKR E1, the new phones will be able to download music over the as well as through a PC, and will be able to transfer music between devices freely.  The phones may also support the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standard, but that has yet to be determined.

Motorola will continue to produce iTunes phones alongside their Windows Media alternatives, but the Windows Media phone may be favored by mobile telecom operators looking to create their own music stores.  Operator support is crucial for a phone to succeed, since 80-90% of mobile phones are sold as part of mobile telecom operator subsidies in most markets.

It's probably another reason Apple may be looking to sell mobile services through Mobile Me and the mePod...

(via Reuters, Financial Times, MocoNews)

UPDATE:  You can check out the full press release here.

February 09, 2006

Motorola Launched M-Wallet, Mobile Pay System

Some non-iRadio MOTO news: Motorola announced M-Wallet yesterday, an application that will allow users to make purchases and manage financial accounts with their mobile phones.  From the overly technical M-Wallet press release:

The solution consists of two components: first, M-Wallet is the application that consumers and merchants download from the Internet; second, the Wallet Service Center allows the operator to manage administration, registration, issuance of credit and debit cards, coupons, archiving, customer profiles and maintenance.

CNET discusses scanning options:

The M-Wallet service initially will allow cell phone users to do banking chores and to pay bills at participating retailers. A new chip that's six to nine months from release will let people use their handset to pay for items anywhere a scanner is used--provided the scanner has been upgraded.

An interesting option, that will probably cost more in 'minutes' or subscription fees...  Still quite cool, though.

February 06, 2006

Motorola PEBL SuperBowl Ad

Did anyone see the PEBL SuperBowl ad?  Not too shabby.  If you mised it, a meteor crashes into earth, is eroded by elements over time, is lost at sea, then found one day on a beach, having taken the shape of the new Motorola PEBL.  Visually appealing, tells a story, good stuff.

I also enjoyed the commercials for CareerBuilder.com (monkey office), ESPN Mobile (sports stuff surrounding the mobile user), and Fedex (caveman delivery etc).

I was definitely rooting for Pittsburgh, having spent a couple years there for grad school.  Great game!

February 02, 2006

First MVNO Signs With iRadio

How’s this for a shadow of a news bit…  Motorola iRadio recently signed on an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator, for the unfamiliar)…however, I don’t know which one.  :)  They plan to hold off the announcement until after they’ve signed a major carrier, which is currently in the works.

Any bets on which MVNO, or which carrier for that matter, will be first?  I’d guess Cingular, but your guess is as good as mine…

January 24, 2006

Clear Channel Hints at iRadio Hook-Up

John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel, said, 'Radio has undergone many changes in recent weeks, including the syncing of cell phones with Motorola's iRadio service that serves up content from Clear Channel.'

Funny.  This isn't the first time a content partnership between Clear Channel and Motorola iRadio was mentioned, though an official announcement has yet to be released.  Clear Channel's board must be swetting bullets over alternative radio options such as satellite radio and Motorola iRadio, thinking, "..if ya can't beat 'em, join 'em."

What kind of content will CC provide, and will commercials be included?  Commercials generate revenue, but will also divert iRadio listeners to other, commercial-free channels...

January 10, 2006

Motorola Launches Motorola Share With Avvenu

Motorola continues to add “sticky” features that will make their phones more attractive to users.  At CES last week, Motorola announced the launch of Motorola Share in partnership with Avvenu, a photo storage and sharing service available on a number of web-enabled mobile phones, including the RAZR, ROKR, and V557.

Motorola Share features:
* Users can view images stored on their computer
* Users can send email via mobile to friends with a link to any image
* Users can view low/high res images; images are automatically scaled to fit screen
* Load time and storage space is conserved, since images sit on computer

It’s a nice feature.  Combined with Motorola iRadio, Motorola phones are on their way to becoming media control centers.  It’s a smart move to provide value-added services that iPods cannot currently offer.  It’s that whole “seamless mobility” thing.  Network, network, network.

An aside, RussellBeattie compared the three remote-access services of Avvenu, Orb, and SoonR, and concluded that Avvvenu was by far the best.  Sounds like a good partnership choice by MOTO.

Related News:

Silicon Beat:  "Avvenu snags funding for new file-sharing idea"

B Cell Phones:  "Motorola and Avvenu announce new mogile service for Image Sharing on the go"

 

January 06, 2006

Motorola Partners With Google

It looks like Google icons will start appearing on Motorola phone screens.  It's the first time Google has signed such a deal with a handset maker (though it made a similar deal with T-Mobile).  The official announcement will be made later this week.

Now iRadio subscribers will need to choose: look for music info in Google Music Search, or in an iRadio search query?  (see an example of a Google Music Search search result here)

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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