Cingular Readies Music Service
Cingular Wireless is set to announce an full-featured music service that will feature content and subscriptions from Napster, Yahoo, and eMusic. Cingular has delivered several lackluster iTunes-enabled phones, though Sprint and Verizon Wireless have both delivered far more comprehensive music offerings. But those ventures have focused heavily on over-the-air (OTA) downloads, a format that has received a mediocre at best response from US-based consumers (eight million downloads in twelve months). The Cingular strategy will avoid OTA downloads, at least initially, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Instead, Cingular will prioritize side-loaded content, including a portable subscription component that involves Napster and Yahoo Music Unlimited. eMusic, a specialist in independent content, will also be included in the initial release. Additionally, consumers will be able to transfer PC-based downloads to their phones, a capability that many mobile devices already support. An over-the-air component will be layered sometime next year, according the Journal piece. However, Cingular supports the slowest OTA network, so their customers shouldn’t get too excited.