Vodafone claims largest paying base of music subscribers in Europe

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.”

Said Francis Keeling, VP Digital at Universal Music Group International: “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.”

While Michael Paull, executive vice president, Global Digital Business at Sony Music Entertainment, noted: “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.”

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.”

And Ian Whitfield, vice president for digital development for Europe at EMI, added: “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 fulfil consumer demand across Europe. We are very pleased with the results Vodafone have delivered.”