Sony & Warner Partner On Chinese Download/Mobile Content Venture
Sony BMG and Warner Music Group have announced a Chinese joint venture for developing mobile music content and download distribution technology. The music companies have invested in Access China Media Solutions, a joint venture between China’s Access Ltd., and Seattle-based digital media firm Melodeo.
Access China Media Solutions was formed early last year as a vehicle for Melodeo to distribute its technology to wireless carriers and handset makers in China and other markets in Asia. The company makes software through which mobile phone users can dial up digital content such as ringtones, listen to streams of audio like podcasts, or download full-length songs.
Sony and Warner’s investment gives them a say in how the technology works and, perhaps most importantly, helps protect their recording artists’ music from unauthorized copying – a rampant problem in China. Mobile phone networks are more secure than the Internet. Still, record labels are keen on avoiding the problems piracy poses with CDs and online content through unauthorized file-sharing.
Access’ offerings also include a digital rights management system to prevent content distributed over mobile phones from being copied without permission. To date, the Chinese joint venture has only closed a deal with one cellphone network operator, Singapore’s MobileOne Ltd.