Partnership will support European carriers and record labels drive the digital music phenomenon
3GSM World Congress, Barcelona, Spain, February 15, 2006 — WiderThan (NASDAQ: WTHN), a leading global provider of integrated mobile entertainment solutions for wireless carriers, today announced that it will partner with Beep Science, a leading provider of mobile Digital Rights Management software, to enable European operators to securely provide users with instant access to full track Music On Demand (MoD) services on their mobile phones.
The partnership will bring together WiderThan’s WiderMusic Service Platform and Beep Science’s end-to-end Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Digital Rights Management (DRM) high security protection for music and video content. Together the companies will enable carriers to launch stable and cost-effective digital music services while also allowing record labels to work more closely with carriers to drive more rapid growth for the MoD business.
WiderThan brings a proven track record in the mobile music industry to the partnership. Together with SK Telecom, WiderThan launched the first ubiquitous mobile music service in Korea using SKT-DRM which is compatible with OMA standard DRM. WiderThan also provides the support infrastructure for Verizon Wireless’ Microsoft-DRM based music service in the U.S. WiderThan is now strengthening its global market position by partnering with Beep Science, a leading DRM company with a strong presence in Europe.
WiderThan’s WiderMusic Service Platform enables mobile operators to offer complete music services to their mobile subscribers, allowing consumers to use and enjoy music services on wired/wireless network environments at any time, in any place.
The Beep Science’s DRM Server is interoperable with all OMA DRM capable handsets, mp3 players, PC music players and other personal media players. With the Beep Science downloadable OMA DRM plug-in for PC music players, operators can create flexible music services where the end-user can consume music across devices, and transfer music between a PC, phone and other OMA DRM capable devices.
Commenting on the announcement, Larry Moores, Senior Vice President, Global Business Division, at WiderThan said, “The initial wave of mobile entertainment solutions was dominated by ring tones and ringback tones (RBT) but as mobile music services diversify and evolve the need for enhanced services and simplified management of those new services increases as mobile operators seek to stay ahead of the competition. The linking of WiderThan with Beep Science will deliver exactly that.”
“The joint WiderThan and Beep Science solution gives mobile operators a scalable and future proof platform to run music services”, said Markku Mehtala, VP Business Development at Beep Science. “By using open standard DRM the solution works with the majority of devices in the marketplace, and addresses the content security issues, without having to install specific proprietary media players and DRM agents into the handsets.”
With full track MoD services becoming one of the most popular applications in a 3G wireless environment it is vitally important to maintain a healthy mobile content ecosystem and use a DRM solution to protect the content owner, the service provider and the end user. Beep Science not only supports complete interoperability with any mobile device with its proven OMA DRM Server system but also supports DRM for PC client for Internet MoD services, enabling the WiderMusic Service Platform to not be limited to just fixed/wireless networks but also provide diverse service and billing methods.