ATLANTA - November 2, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- Those in search of the ultimate mobile music experience need look no further than Cingular Wireless which today announced the launch of Cingular Music™, an integrated, on-the-go music experience that delivers "your music, your way."
Cingular teamed with Microsoft to incorporate Windows Media Digital Rights Management into select handsets, making it possible for customers to enjoy and discover subscription music from the wireless phone.
Cingular Music delivers several industry firsts in regards to subscription music:
Most comprehensive music subscription service of its kind ever offered by a U.S. wireless carrier
The largest collection of mobile music content available on the handset from the leading online music retailers
First and only U.S. carrier to enable mobile portability of online subscription music content from Napster and Yahoo!
Simple one-click access to a complete-suite of music related content, giving users easy access to all things music on their phone in one location
"Cingular Music is our answer to a fragmented marketplace that until now has not fully taken into account the user experience," says Jim Ryan, vice president of consumer data services, Cingular Wireless. "Music has become such an integral part of our lives and many consumers want a simple and integrated mobile music experience that gives them access to all things music- including songs, videos, news, data and information. With Cingular Music, we are offering our customers one click access to their music, their way."
Cingular Music: A New Way for Discovering and Enjoying Mobile Music
With Cingular Music, Cingular has dramatically accelerated the convergence of wireless and music. Although the ability to listen to music on the cell phone is not new, what is unique about Cingular Music is the ease of use and open access it provides to music-related content. Unlike other wireless carriers who provide access to a single music storefront that may or may not seamlessly integrate with a consumer's PC-based music library, Cingular Music makes it easy to take your music with you and offers the widest selection of music content in the industry today, including integration with Napster and Yahoo! Music, as well as support for other music stores. Cingular Music also seamlessly integrates with eMusic, which sells tracks in the universally compatible MP3 format.
"Cingular's vision of delivering easy and flexible access to a range of leading online music stores makes them a great technology partner for Microsoft in the vitally important area of mobile entertainment," said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president of the Consumer Media Technology Group at Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft's focus and commitment continues to be on ensuring our DRM technology provides the best functionality to enable compelling business models for current and future media-rich services, such as Cingular Music."
"The launch of Cingular Music marks another important milestone in our strategic relationship with Cingular Wireless," said Michael Nash, Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy and Business Development, Warner Music Group. "Integrated for the first time through a wireless carrier's mobile platform, the Cingular Music store combines secure, portable subscription with technologically advanced handsets in a terrific development for mobile customers. We look forward to working with our wireless service partners as they advance their technology roadmaps and the evolution of music delivery so consumers can experience our artists' music in a variety of new and exciting ways."
With Cingular Music, Cingular is the first U.S. carrier to distribute subscription music to the handset ? allowing consumers to extend their existing music libraries not rebuild them. And, for consumers who are new to subscription-based music, Cingular is making it possible for them to discover millions of new songs and take their favorites with them wherever they go. Highlights include:
Napster: For a monthly subscription price of $14.95 a month, Cingular customers can fill and refill their phone by simply connecting their Cingular phone to their PC and downloading their favorite tracks from among Napster's more than 2 million songs. In fact, Cingular and Napster are currently offering a free 60-day trial so users can see just how easy and fast it is to side-load unlimited music to your handset. Additionally, from their mobile phone, customers can access Napster Mobile and browse the entire Napster catalog, listen to 30-second samples, rate songs, and recommend music picks with friends. And, for just $0.99, consumers can also buy songs on the handset for delivery to the PC for side-loading later. Ericsson is hosting, integrating and managing the round-the-clock operations for Napster Mobile, a service co-developed by Napster and Ericsson leveraging on Napster's vast music catalogue and Ericsson's mobile platform and personalization content.
Yahoo! Music: With Yahoo! Music Unlimited To Go, Cingular customers have unlimited access to over 2 million songs to play and transfer from their PC to their mobile device (rates are as low as $11.99 a month). With Yahoo! Music for Mobile, Cingular customers can, on their mobile handsets, browse the extensive Yahoo! Music catalog for album, artist and song content as well as receive personalized music recommendations and remotely add songs direct to their PC. Free to all Yahoo! Music users is the Yahoo! Music Jukebox, a digital music player that allows consumers, from their PC, to play, rip and burn MP3s and CDs, share playlists, listen to LAUNCHcast Radio, and transfer music seamlessly to mobile devices.
eMusic: Currently, consumers who purchase a Sony Ericsson W810i or Sony Ericsson W300i will be able to enjoy a free "in-box" offer to side-load up to 50 songs from eMusic's vast catalog of two million tracks, allowing them to enjoy and discover music from both classic and new artists such as Johnny Cash, Spoon, Ray Charles, Neko Case, Blind Willie Johnson, Miles Davis, Ying Yang Twins, Bob Marley, Black Flag, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lucinda Williams. Not only can consumers transfer eMusic's MP3 tracks to multiple devices and burn them to CD, they also own, not rent, tracks purchased from eMusic.
"Napster's new relationship with Cingular brings the biggest digital music brand onto the largest wireless network in the U.S. and will introduce Cingular's huge customer base to subscription music on the go. Analysts are now projecting that half of all cell phones sold by the end of 2007 will offer music capabilities which will substantially enhance the experience for wireless customers and be a great growth engine for digital music adoption" said Chris Gorog, Napster's chairman and CEO. "We are delighted to be partnering with Cingular to debut the Napster Mobile service nationwide, and look forward to working together to provide consumers with an exciting and easy to use integrated music experience."
"No matter what kind of music people prefer, they want to bring their music with them, wherever they go," said Dave Goldberg, VP and GM of Yahoo! Music. "Making Yahoo! Music's software and library of more than 2 million songs available to Cingular customers allows consumers and music lovers alike to have both the best music and mobile experiences possible."
"eMusic's universally compatible MP3 tracks are easy to sideload onto any MP3-enabled phone, and we're excited to formally be a part of Cingular's mobile music initiative," said David Pakman, eMusic President and CEO. "Unlike other subscription services that cater mostly to youth, eMusic provides an option for those consumers interested in music outside commercial pop and rap. We welcome Cingular customers to discover the riches of independent music at eMusic."
XM Satellite Radio
Cingular also teamed with XM Satellite Radio to offer mobile access to audio streams of 25 popular commercial-free music channels. Through XM Radio Mobile, Cingular customers will be able to enjoy a variety of music virtually anytime, anywhere for $8.99 a month. Cingular will launch the service November 6. The XM Radio Mobile application was developed and will be hosted by MobiTV, the global leader in mobile and broadband television and music services.
"This partnership offers us a brand new platform to distribute the extraordinary content that has made XM Radio the number one satellite radio company," said Adam Reyer, senior vice president, Business Development for XM Satellite Radio. "Now Cingular customers can enjoy 25 of the most popular commercial-free music channels, virtually anywhere they go."
Cingular Music: One-Click Access to Your Music, Your Way
Cingular realizes that simply offering music on the handset is not enough. A true mobile music solution is designed to make it easy and intuitive for consumers to experience the full gamut of music content available on the handset today. Cingular Music combines "all things music" that exists on your handset and delivers it to one central hub, making it simple for users to access and enjoy. Cingular Music contains eight distinct menu options:
Music Player: Music Player is where you can access the phone's entire catalog of music. Within Music Player, users can create their own playlists by choosing songs from the All Songs menu list as well as have songs played in random order.
Shop Music: The Shop Music folder is where users go to purchase or explore music content from Napster and Yahoo! Music, depending on your handset. Users can also personalize their phones by purchasing ringtones and Answer Tones™ from the Cingular MEdia Mall.
MusicID: For the first time, users can identify a song with MusicID, Cingular's music recognition service, and then purchase that song from the handset by directly linking into the Napster library where the song(s) can later be side-loaded. Beyond this new feature, MusicID can easily identify a recorded song by a simple press of the button. Within seconds, a song can be analyzed among a database of more than 3 million songs and then, when identified, you are provided the name of the artist and the track. And, if the song matches an available ringtone, you can easily purchase it without having to spend time searching.
Music Videos: The Music Videos folder provides a direct link to Cingular's video offerings, including video content from MTV Networks' premiere MTV, VH1 and CMT music brands; Warner Music (Music Choice); as well as original video footage from Cingular Sounds Live (CSL) concert series.
Streaming Music: The Streaming Music folder is where users can listen to various genres of music content from either XM Radio Mobile or MobiRadio, depending on their handset.
The Buzz: The Buzz is the place to go to access Billboard Mobile, a mobile music application that gives Cingular customers access to music and entertainment news, Billboard charts and local concert information, directly from the handset.
Community: Comprised of artist fan sites and chat rooms, the Community folder is where music fans can connect with others who share similar interests. From sharing music and reviews within a particular community (via SMS or IM) or simply listening to music from your favorite artists' site, the Community folder is a one-stop-shop for discovering and re-discovering music.
Music Apps: The Music Apps folder is the home for other new and exciting music-centric applications including Mobilcast, a podcasting service, and Hip Hop Official, a music video application.
Cingular Music: Featured Handsets
Although Cingular offers several music-centric handsets, we currently offer five phones that feature the dedicated Cingular Music menu ? the Cingular SYNC™ by Samsung, LG CU500, Sony Ericsson W810i, Sony Ericsson W300i and Cingular 3125.
Cingular's newest 3G phone, the Cingular SYNC™ by Samsung, sports a sleek-clamshell design that is as stylish as it is functional. Since it is a 3G phone, it is a great multimedia device, ideal for watching music videos, and listening to your favorite songs from Napster and Yahoo! Music. The Cingular SYNC™ will be available through select Cingular Wireless retail locations and online at cingular.com, beginning November 6, for $49.99 with a two-year service contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate.
Beginning November 6, consumers can visit cingularsource.com/cingularmusic for more details on Cingular Music, including handset information.