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Vodafone Announces Largest Base of Paying Music Subscribers in Europe

26 Feb 2010Technology news
6 minute read
  • Nearly 450,000 Vodafone customers have signed up for music subscription services since it signed digital rights management free MP3 music deals with all major labels in 2009
  • Over 2 million tracks currently available through the DRM-free library, will grow to 6 million in 2010

London, Tuesday 26th January, 2010: Vodafone Group today announced that nearly 450,000 Vodafone customers have signed up to its music subscription services since it signed DRM-free deals with all four major labels in 2009. This customer base gives Vodafone stewardship over the largest number of paying music subscribers in Europe.

In the month of December 2009 over 100,000 customers signed up to one of a range of music services offered across the 8 largest Vodafone markets in Europe. Growth in customer subscription numbers is being driven both by great value monthly 10-track MP3 bundles as well as from ‘all you can eat’ (AYCE) unlimited access subscription services.

MP3 files bought in bundles can be played on a wide range of computers and digital music players including iTunes and – most importantly for Vodafone’s customers – on both mobile and PC. Customers will typically get 10 tracks per month for around €5.

AYCE services are offered both as a stand-alone product as well as bundled with data tariffs. When bundled with data, customers can access the entire catalogue of over 2 million tracks for as little as €3 a month.

Lee Epting, Director of Content at Vodafone Internet Services said “We are really excited by our customers’ reaction to these great music offers. We expect to see continued growth in our music service subscriptions driven by the increase in smartphone use, with their worry-free data tariffs and great value add-ons such as music bundles. We will carry on working hard with our partners in the music industry to develop new and innovative music services for our customers. Vodafone is starting to prove the significance of its place in the music industry.”

"Universal Music believes strongly in the future of music subscription services, and Vodafone is demonstrating leadership in this field. This year will put such offers to the test as never before, as consumers recognise their value, diversity and convenience," said Francis Keeling, VP Digital at Universal Music Group International.

“Sony Music is pleased to be partnering with Vodafone, Europe’s largest mobile carrier, to provide its customers with a compelling premium digital music solution for their handsets and the PC. Vodafone’s users across the region are demonstrating that a growing number of consumers want innovative music offers that allow them to easily listen to their favourite songs by conveniently combining services and devices,” said Michael Paull, Executive Vice President, Global Digital Business at Sony Music Entertainment.

Eric Daugan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy, Warner Music Europe, said "These encouraging figures demonstrate the opportunities created when mobile companies and music labels are aligned in offering easy, instant access to content, in ways that cater for a variety of fan behaviour. We're delighted to be working with Vodafone to grow these services further, generating new connections between European audiences and Warner Music's remarkable roster of international and local talent."

“EMI and Vodafone have worked together for many years and over the last 12 months we have collaborated to bring a variety of music offerings designed to fulfill consumer demand across Europe. We are very pleased with the results Vodafone have delivered,” said Ian Whitfield, Vice President Digital Development for Europe at EMI.

The Music Void - Morgan Donoghue on MUZU

Notes to Editors

1. Vodafone Group announced deals with Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Music, and Universal Music in March 2009, and with Warner Music Group in September 2009 to offer their full music catalogues in DRM-free MP3 format.

2. The 8 markets offering DRM-free music in Europe, and contributing to the 450,000 customer total are Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and UK.

3. Vodafone typically offers customers the opportunity to experience their first month of a music subscription free of charge.

About Vodafone
Vodafone is the world's leading international mobile communications group with approximately 323 million proportionate customers as at 30 September 2009. Vodafone currently has equity interests in 31 countries across five continents and around 40 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit

About EMI Music
EMI Music is one of the world’s leading music companies, representing artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, Capitol Latin, Capitol Nashville, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Records, Manhattan, Mute, Parlophone and Virgin.

About Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Music Entertainment is a global recorded music company with a roster of current artists that includes a broad array of both local artists and international superstars. The company boasts a vast catalog that comprises some of the most important recordings in history. It is home to premier record labels representing music from every genre, including American Recordings, Arista Nashville, Arista Records, Aware, Battery Records, Beach Street Records, Black Seal, BNA Records, Cinematic, Columbia Nashville, Columbia Records, Epic Records, Essential Records, Flicker Records, Fo-Yo Soul, GospoCentric, Hitz Committee Entertainment, J Records, Jive Records, LaFace Records, Legacy Recordings, Masterworks, Polo Grounds, RCA Records, RCA Nashville, RCA Red Seal, RCA Victor, Reunion Records, Slightly Dangerous, Sony Classical, Sony Music Latin, Star Time International, Verity Records, and Volcano Entertainment. Sony Music Entertainment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America.

About Universal Music
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's leading global music publishing operation.

Universal Music Group's record labels include A&M/Octone, Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Disa, Emarcy, Fonovisa, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Polydor Records, Show Dog – Universal Music, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal Music Latino and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which includes the last 100 years of the world's most popular artists and their recordings. UMG’s catalog is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its new media and technologies division; Bravado, its merchandising company; Twenty-First Artists, its full service management division; and Helter Skelter, its live music agency.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.

About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.

Contact details:

Vodafone Group Media Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1635 664 444

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