Israel's all-you-can-eat subscription service Musix has been bolstered by the addition of Universal Music Group repertoire.

Helicon Music, Universal's long-term partner in Israel, worked with UMG to secure the deal with telco Pelephone Communications' Musix service. It is hoped the deal can help grow the digital market in Israel.

"Musix, an 'access as much as you want, via your mobile or terminal device, for as long as you pay' service, is the product of Pelephone's original vision brought to reality with the on-going assistance of Helicon's digital team," said Guy Bauman, Pelephone's VP content and products. "I am proud of this 'second-generation' music service, put together by the music and telco industries with the music consumer in mind."

Musix, which launched one year ago, has now added 100,000 UMG tracks to the service. It has a further 400,000 tracks, of which 50,000 tracks are Israeli music and the remainder international repertoire.

"The addition of UMG content is a giant leap in content offering, which sits well with the strategy behind Musix," added Bauman.

Helicon is also EMI's partner in Israel and the major has repertoire licensed to Musix, along with music from hundreds of indies.

Bauman is predicting 150,000 paying subscribers by the end of 2010 and he tells Billboard.biz it currently has 90,000 subscribers.

The service costs 20 ILS ($5.20) a month for unlimited streaming via computer and unlimited DRM-enabled music via mobile. The downloads are accessible as long as the subscription is maintained.

The iTunes service is not available in Israel, but Bauman tells Billboard.biz he would welcome the launch of Apple's music store as a means of building the digital sector. He adds that mobile is more popular than the Internet for accessing digital music in Israel.

"We have been working with Helicon in their drive to introduce legitimate digital services into a market with considerable penetration in high-end devices as well as broadband reach, which for too long has been a 'no-man's land'" said Richard Abdalian, VP digital, Developing Markets, Universal Music Group International. "The conviction and passion shown by Ronnie Braun and his team in venturing into uncharted waters will benefit all music lovers."

"We were impressed by the service that Musix is offering, and we believe that the introduction of our repertoire in the Full Track format will serve as a trigger to encourage other Israeli players to move ahead with new basic and "second-generation" services," added Abdalian.

"Through Musix we are aiming to get music to many hundreds of thousands of consumers who will pay a friendly price," said Ronnie Braun, managing director of Helicon, "and we see Musix as a catalyst in helping the industry achieve this goal. The addition of UMG's musical content to the service will dramatically enhance the consumer experience."

Musix is also involved with a live event next month. Pelephon's Musix Parade will take place on July 9 on the Tel Aviv Boardwalk in association with the City of Tel-Aviv, including Israeli artists Balkan Bit Box, Useless ID and Tree Poison.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print