• Smart partners with music giant MCA

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    Smart Communications Inc. has signed an exclusive deal with MCA Music Inc., a Universal Music Group International (UMGI) company, to offer what it calls a “game-changing” online music service.

    “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 Charles Lim, executive vice president and head of wireless consumer business for Smart and Sun Cellular.

    The company said that Smart Music is a vital part of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. Group’s multimedia strategy. The deal between the two companies will make the more than 3 million tracks in MCA Music’s global catalog exclusively available for 70 million subscribers of Smart and other mobile brands under the PLDT Group, Talk ’N Text and Sun Cellular. Smart will start offering content from MCA Music at very affordable rates and convenient terms through the Smart Music service.

    Smart Music is a new online music portal, which instantly became the largest digital store of its kind in the Philippines. The company said that Smart Music will offer downloads for as low as P15 each track—the lowest peso rate in the digital music market today. New releases will be sold at P20 each track—roughly half the comparable rates of other online music stores.

    The company added that 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. UMGI and MCA Music welcome the partnership, citing the company’s own business strategy of offering more of its music tracks online.

    “With the number of subscribers Smart has across the country, we’re virtually rolling out millions of retail outlets right in the hands of our consumers,” said Ricky Ilacad, president of MCA Music.

    Beyond the music content distribution, the partnership also allows for extensive music marketing and branding tie-ups between Smart and MCA Music.

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