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Mobile Music Distribution: A Multichannel Approach

DOI: 10.1155/2011/706164

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In contrast to what is happening in the Internet-based scenario, the music market in the mobile scenario is far from being considered a large success. Several studies state that excessive downloading time and high cost are the main burdens. Motivated by the growth of social and mobile applications, in this paper we propose an approach that aims at reducing both the downloading time and the cost to get digital music when acquired in the mobile scenario. The proposed architecture exploits the usage of personal communication technologies embedded in cellphones (e.g., Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) to couple the current distribution model (mainly based on 3G networks), so as to provide a multichannel distribution model where users are free to redistribute digital music. The architecture includes a license-based security mechanism that prevents unauthorized usage of digital music, and makes use of an incentive mechanism to stimulate and reward the music distribution among customers. By analyzing pros and cons of the music distribution chain, results show that the proposed architecture might help in reducing both the downloading time and the cost to get digital music when acquired in the mobile scenario. Therefore, it might be helpful to the success of the mobile music scenario. 1. Introduction The presence of several online music stores, as well as the capability of several devices (e.g., iPods, cellphones, and in-car and home entertainment systems) to play digital music, is an index of the popularity and of the success of digital music. Today, customers can acquire and download digital music with few clicks, and research reports estimate that the digital music market accounted for 29 percent of record companies’ trade revenues in 2010 [1]. Several studies in economic, social, and technological fields investigated the reason of this success: low prices, high-speed residential Net access (e.g., DSL) with flat rate plans, large availability of attractive and cool portable music devices, and an access to an (almost) unlimited music catalog are commonly seen as the key factors that set the success of digital music. Long time has passed since record labels were reluctant, for piracy reasons, to the idea of releasing music for the download scenario. Today, record labels, along with mobile phone producers and cellphone network operators, are attempting to create a ubiquitous and mobile e-music market, with the goal of creating an additional source of income (mobile phone producers hope to refill the market with new cellphones equipped with features more suitable to digital


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