Smart, MCA ink ?game-changing? digital music venture

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[/caption] Describing the partnership as a ?game-changer?, the deal was formally announced by top Smart Communications and MCA Music executives at a press event held at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel on Monday, July 8. A first in the world, the deal between the two companies will make the more than 3 million tracks in MCA Music?s global catalog exclusively available to the over 70 million subscribers of Smart and the other mobile brands under the PLDT group, Talk ?N Text and Sun Cellular. Smart will start offering content from MCA Music through ?Smart Music?, its new online music portal which effectively becomes the largest digital store of its kind in the country. Smart Music will offer music downloads for as low as P15 per track, while new releases will be sold at P20 each track. Subscribers can pay for their downloads by charging these against their prepaid load or their postpaid bill. This eliminates the need to have a credit card, which is a major barrier to many Filipinos who want to purchase legitimate music online, executives said. According to Charles Lim, EVP and head of wireless consumer business for Smart and Sun Cellular, Smart Music is a vital part of the PLDT Group?s multimedia strategy. ?We will rapidly grow our multimedia content offerings in the next few months. What better way to jumpstart this effort than by offering what?s close to the hearts of Filipinos ? music,? said Lim. Lim said the agreement also intends to grow the share of digital music in the country to 60 to 70 percent. Currently, digital music only accounts 40 percent of the P700-million revenue of the local music industry. Ricky Ilacad, president of MCA Music, said the new music platform will enable the company to sign up more artists instead of them just taking it on their own via the indie route. Beyond the music content distribution, the partnership also allows for extensive music marketing and branding tie-ups between Smart and MCA Music. For instance, Smart has the license to use Top 40 and catalog songs in MCA Music?s full library in its promotional activities. For the duration of the partnership, Smart will also be a major presentor of the Philippine concerts of some of MCA Music?s international and local artists. ?In September for example, MCA Music will bring one of its prime artists Rihanna for a concert here in the Philippines, and Smart will be a major presentor, bringing to the Filipinos not just the show, but the whole music experience through our group?s converged services,? he said. MCA Music boasts of a music catalog that spans multiple genres across several eras. The record company carries in its labels some of the world?s most popular music superstars like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, U2, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, and more. MCA Music also carries the license to music?s classic collections like the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Motown catalogs. Locally, the MCA Music roster is being headlined by artists like Ely Buendia and his bands Pupil and The Oktaves, Sitti, Nyoy Volante, Urbandub, Franco, ChicoSci and more. ]]>

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