Universal Sets Up Music-Centered MVNO

from the good-luck-with-that dept

Record label Universal says it will launch an MVNO centered on selling ringtones and other content from its stable of artists. It’s working with a company called Single Touch, which will take content provided by Universal and distribute it on a virtual network running on top of Sprint’s physical one. Universal launched a similar MVNO last year in France, while its parent company owns French operator SFR. This looks like a play by Universal to cut operators out of the ringtone loop. There’s nothing wrong with that, but consumers’ loyalty isn’t defined by record label, it’s to bands they like. The draw for Universal’s virtual operator will be content from its acts — but what happens when kids’ tastes inevitably change to a band on a different label. Are they supposed to switch to its MVNO? This smacks of more meaningless short-term landgrabs for a part of the ringtone bubble rather than the start of a successful long-term business.

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