The UK’s first unlimited mobile music download service, Vodafone MusicStation, went live today, giving phone customers as much tunes as their phone can handle for £1.99 a week.
Announced a week ahead of the iPhone’s UK launch on rival operator O2’s service, the Vodafone MusicStation service – supplied by UK mobile music company Omnifone – will offer Vodafone customers a range of over 1.2 million tracks from all the major record companies and independent labels. Vodafone subscribers who pay the weekly fee will be able to download full tracks over the air to play on their phones and to share recommendations with other MusicStation users.
Users can check out the latest music charts on the service, receive recommendations tailored to their preferences and create music-related social networks online. Downloaded tracks are also stored centrally so users can keep their playlists even if they change their handset, although users have to maintain a Vodafone MusicStation deal to access their tracks.
The MusicStation service is initially being pre-installed in 13 Vodafone UK handsets, with many more models to follow. Vodafone customers with a wide range of compatible handsets will also be able to download the MusicStation application to free of charge, and the service will work with both 2.5G and 3G handsets.
Downloads on 3G devices will take around 20-30 seconds, and just a few seconds on HSDPA-enabled handsets. Vodafone has confirmed that the MusicStation service will be rolled out to BlackBerry devices and that a MusicStation service for touchscreen handsets will be available in the near future.
Vodafone is offering customers a free week-long trial of the MusicStation service. As well as the weekly deal, Vodafone is introducing a series of MusicStation Meal Deals that incorporate the music service as part of the inclusive airtime and text plans, starting at £43.62 for 500 minutes of airtime and 1,000 texts plus unlimited music (see www.vodafone.co.uk for more details).
“MusicStation represents a quantum leap in digital music technology and delivery," Al Russell, Head of Mobile Internet and Content Services, Vodafone UK’s commented in a statement. "With unlimited access to digital music through their mobiles, Vodafone consumers have ultimate music freedom, including the ability to download as much music as they want, even when they are out and about.”
Vodafone MusicStation enabled handsets are being sold from today in Vodafone and Phones 4U stores across the UK.