AT&T Gets Its Music Groove On With Napster Mobile

AT&T grooved deeper into mobile Thursday, marketing two new music applications for subscribers on the move. The services--mSpot's Make-UR-Tones, and Remix--let consumers access and listen to songs they want on any AT&T mobile phone that supports music.

Beginning this summer, the Dallas-based carrier also plans to make its Napster Mobile service available to more subscribers. AT&T customers will have an option to search a catalog of more than five million songs from their AT&T wireless phone, preview 30-second samples before they buy, and download music directly to their phone while on the go. The deal, first announced last November with the launch of the SLM by Samsung, now makes the service available to more than 12 million customers.

Mark Nagel, director of product marketing for AT&T, says the carrier will likely integrate the marketing message for services into a broader campaign focused on giving subscribers choices around music. Similar campaigns have been built on messaging blasts, emails, features on the Web site, and sponsorships and promotions. "We do a lot of integrated marketing," he says. "So when you open a box with the new Samsung Slim, you'll see special offers around getting free songs on the phone."



Coupons like those from handset manufacturers and AT&T could boost music sales. Spending for music on mobile phones in North America should reach $2.6 billion* by 2012--up from $1 billion this year, estimates research firm eMarketer. This includes ringtones and ringback tones, as well as full-track downloads and mastertones.

Make-UR-Tones allow customers to create a one- to 30-second ringtone from their favorite part of a song with their mobile phone. The service makes available more than 250,000 titles from music labels EMI Music, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, INgrooves and IRIS.

AT&T subscribers can download mSpot's Make-UR-Tones from the AT&T MEdia Mall on their mobile phone, use the advanced search engine to select a song and then cut the part of the song they want to customize as their ringtone with the application's waveform editor. The application lets users listen to the song as it is edited and preview the ringtone before downloading a copy to their phones.

A monthly $6.99 fee buys three ringtones. Subscribers can purchase additional ringtones for $2.99 each. The service is available for Samsung Sync, Samsung A737, Samsung A747 and the Motorola V3xx phones.

AT&T also gives subscribers access to their PC-based music collections directly from their phone with Remix. Hitting Play from the mSpot Remix mobile player starts the song from the PC downloading onto the phone's memory card, giving customers access to songs even when they are not connected to the network.

Napster mobile gives five free songs as a marketing promotion along with handset manufacturers.

*Editor's note: The story was amended post publication to read billion instead of million.

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