EMI Music Japan has launched a mobile download site on NTT's docomo i-mode and Softbank Mobile's Yahoo! Mobile (Y!keitai) service. The MOBAEMI mobile site will also be available on Japan's other main mobile phone service, KDDI's EZweb, from Dec. 6.

MOBAEMI consists of a paid download service for purchasing master ringtones, full-track downloads, ringmovies and ringvoice products from the EMI catalog, according to the music major.

Customers can opt for a subscription plan or purchase tracks "a la carte." Users earn points for each purchase, which they can redeem for further purchases and content.

Hiroshi Yamazaki, associate executive GM of EMI Music Japan's business development group, tells Billboard.biz that reason behind starting its own mobile site was because "we would like to expand our digital sales." He added: "We also want to gather marketing data and do one-to-one marketing directly."

EMI Music Japan already provides master ringtones and full-track audio to customers through other mobile providers and PC download providers, Yamazaki explained.

"The 'official' aspect is the big impact and important for customers," Yamazaki continued. "We want to convey directors' comments, promoters' comments and things officially." Content from MOBAEMI will include exclusive items, input from artists and breaking music.

Currently, EMI's mobile catalog includes approximately 15,000 titles across all genres of music, which are available through more than 100 Web sites including some 30 mobile service providers (MSPs).

Earlier this year, "Flavor of Life" by EMI-signed Japanese superstar Hikaru Utada became the best-selling mobile track ever in Japan, with mobile sales of 6.6 million out of total digital sales of 7.3 million.

According to the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), mobile music sales in Japan grew in the first half by 143% compared with the year before to ¥31.859 billion ($290 million).

Japan's Telecommunications Carriers Association forecasts that by the end of 2007, more than 80% of the nearly 100 million mobile phones in the country will be 3G enabled.

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