London-based Omnifone, which powers various mobile unlimited music services, has partnered with data services company Gracenote on a new offering that will extend all-you-can-eat platforms to consumer electronics devices in the home and car.

Omnifone's device vendor partners have yet to be confirmed; its existing mobile music partners include device vendors and mobile carriers Sony Ericsson, Vodafone, LG, Telenor and Hutchison Telecom.

The new service is to be demonstrated at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is described in an Omnifone statement as providing "easy integration of a consumer's personal music collection with an unlimited music subscription service and seamless synchronization of both across a consumer's personal devices."

The system would allow the user to synchronize music between mobile phones, PCs, home entertainment systems and in-car stereos. It works across multiple entertainment platforms, using embedded Gracenote technology to link a consumer's existing music library with Omnifone's unlimited music service of five million tracks, which all the major labels have signed up to.

Described as a "holistic" approach, Omifone says the system will provide the most appropriate user interface and file format for each device. Synchronization will happen automatically via wi-fi or 3G in the home and car without the need to side-load, back up or rip compact discs.

Various unlimited music services are rolling out globally and labels are increasingly looking to all-you-can-eat packages as a way of replacing lost revenue from declining CD sales and Internet piracy. A Jan. 2008 report by Juniper Research predicted that the market for unlimited music services on mobile platforms will be worth $3.3 billion globally by 2012.

"One of the most significant things we're doing in 2009 is moving unlimited models to other environments," Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis tells Billboard.biz, "because there are lots of consumers interested in unlimited music on their mobile or PC, there's also a hell of a lot of consumers who spend a lot of time listening to music in their living room and also in their car. We want to deliver connected services to those environments, so we're working with a number of major music electronic companies to deliver unlimited music into the living room and into the car going forward."

Lewis says there are various methods to access music in the home rather than relying on computers or mobiles, including dedicated hi-fi systems, plug-in devices for existing hi-fi or a TV set-top box.

"Obviously you need a good quality controller to navigate through all the music in the world and you need connectivity through wi-fi," he says. "We can create that armchair living room experience. People don't want to rely on their mobile handset in the living room."

Lewis says the key to the offering is "all of those services being interoperable, so if you have a playlist on one it automatically appears on the other. Today a lot of consumers have quite a disjointed music experience."

"We understand that consumers want access to all music content, as well as a consistent digital media experience no matter where they are -- on the go, at home, or in the car," added Jim Hollingsworth, senior VP of sales and marketing for Gracenote, in a statement.

"What we are demonstrating is a next-generation music solution to the industry that addresses this consumer demand. This is an example of the future digital entertainment experience, and exemplifies the direction that commerce, content and technology companies should be headed."

Lewis added: "Omnifone's partnership with Gracenote will make connected unlimited music services a reality in the living room, in the car, on mobile devices, and computers; everywhere we go our music collections, playlists, and recommendations will follow seamlessly, automatically and without wires."

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