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Sony Ericsson to Debut PlayNow Arena

  • Posted: Monday, August 25, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Sony Ericsson

By Jason Ankeny

Sony Ericsson announced the launch of PlayNow Arena, a web portal promising users access to mobile content including more than a million DRM-free tracks from major labels including Sony BMG, Warner Music and EMI. PlayNow Arena--debuting Monday in the Nordic region--will expand across Europe throughout the remainder of 2008 before going global next year.

Sony Ericsson hopes to sell more than 5 million music downloads over the next 12 months, noting it has sold some 200 million music-enabled handsets worldwide; download costs are expected to mirror fees on Apple's rival iTunes site, which presently run $0.99 per track in the U.S. and €0.99 in Europe.

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires, Sony Ericsson's head of content acquisition and management Martin Blomkvist said PlayNow Arena's biggest draw is the absence of digital rights restrictions: "If we together don't work for finding ways to take away the obstacles of legal downloads, then, this industry from a digital perspective is going to die," he said, adding that the handset maker expects to make little profit from the effort.

"Had we only done music, we wouldn't have done this. The way it is set up today, very few people, apart from the record industry, are getting rich on digital music. Generally speaking, the music today isn't generating a boat load of cash for us." According to Blomkvist, the margins on mobile games are much higher. [FierceMobileContent]

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