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July 29, 2009
Mobile operator Orange UK looked to shake up the market on Wednesday with the launch of a free music streaming service for prepay users.
In partnership with Universal Music and UK TV station Channel 4, Orange’s ‘Monkey’ service gives customers free access to hundreds of thousands of songs streamed to any mobile handset.
Users, who are expected to fall into the 16-34 age bracket, will be able to create, listen to and share playlists via the platform.
But with only one label on board, the choice of music content will be somewhat limited.
Jonathan Arber, a senior research analyst at IDC, said that the move would be an attention grabber, especially in light of the success of services such as Spotify. But he also said the offering was “extremely limited” by its dependency on Universal, although Orange is attempting to differentiate with editorial content.
Mark Little, principal analyst at Ovum, says that Monkey is well positioned on basic low cost phones at a time when Spotify is targeting a slightly older, wealthier consumer. But again, Little believes that the offering might be limited in scope and will face competition from better stocked providers.
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