Campaign includes live-music sponsorships.
U.K. cell-phone operator Orange today (March 31) unveiled its biggest campaign yet to encourage consumers to access mobile music. The "Find Music" initiative, which kicks off tonight with an event at London's KOKO venue, will involve digital music sales and tour/festival sponsorships.
"The idea is to bring together our existing and new products in music and help our customers find their music on their Orange phones," Mark Ashford, head of music and multimedia operations, said at a press briefing. "This will cover all customers from the low end to the high end of the phone range."
Orange claims more than 14 million customers. Current mobile music offerings include an à la carte download store with a catalog of 25,000 songs supplied by the four majors and independents. Songs cost £1.50 per track via Orange World's Music Player Internet portal. Alternatively, users can buy songs for £3.50 apiece via Fireplayer, which allows customers to remix tracks to create master-recording ringtones. All the majors apart from Universal Music have supplied tracks for Fireplayer's remix application.
Additionally, Orange has joined forces with gigsandtours.com, which is owned by concert promoters SJM Concerts and Metropolis Music. Among other initiatives, the agreement will provide Orange customers with exclusive access to concert tickets 48 hours before the general release. Between them, SJM and Metropolis handle more than 600 acts.
Another agreement, with Sony BMG U.K. and Ireland and handset maker SonyEricsson, includes sponsorship of a spring U.K. tour by dance act Faithless. The deal also covers exclusive mastertones and mobile video from the band, whose new album "Forever Faithless" is due May 2.
Other Orange activities under the campaign include sponsorship deals with the Glastonbury and T in the Park music festivals this summer, a national tour of community music workshops and a London recording studio for aspiring ringtone composers, and support of a tour by DJs at university venues.