Music2Text Presses Play on Download Service
Music2text has launched its SMS music download platform, which enables music labels and artists to offer tracks for purchase or free download on the mobile web, connected to a mobile shortcode. By texting a selected keyword to the shortcode, users are forwarded to a mobile music store where they can stream, share and purchase the track, charged directly to their phone bill.
It's an interesting idea – and one which could prick the ears of record labels, given that it promises to let them keep 100 per cent of the sales, and captures the user's mobile number for post-marketing purposes.
“Currently there are two options open to the music industry,” Music2text CEO and founder Denver Thomas told Mobile Marketing. “Via a third party aggregrator, who delivers to mobile networks' online stores, which means dilution of revenue for the label, or an expensive app strategy.”
He believes Music2text could offer a third way, particularly for smaller labels and artists, which pay a fixed cost – currently £20 – per track uploaded. That's a business model which has taken some mistakes along the way to reach, according to Thomas – it's only available for single tracks and ringtones, for example, due to “disastrous” product testing for videos and albums.
There's one remaining crease to be ironed out, however – Apple's tight grip on Digital Rights Management. The workaround is an auto-detecting page which takes the user to a page to give their email address. The track is then emailed to their PC, to be added to iTunes and transferred. For an idea which is predicated on being a smooth buying experience, it's clumsy to say the least.
“We're the first company to do this, so there's no other company to benchmark ourselves against,” said Thomas. “Things have changed. Music discovery now lies in the hands of the consumer where once it was in the hands of radio stations, and then MTV - nowadays, the real cultural activity is on the web. This is a platform that has developed with the indie music industry in mind - we want Music2text to be a record label in your hand.”