MOTOSDBZ: Motorola takes over Soundbuzz

ROKR E8.jpgThis isn't exactly new news, but it's actually pretty important for the Australian market. Soundbuzz, the company that manages the online and mobile music stores for Telstra BigPond and Optus Zoo, has been taken over 100 per cent by Motorola. Considering they're the biggest online and mobile music company, offering over 750,000 songs and 500,000 mobile derivitatives (like truetones), this suddenly makes Motorola a big player in the mobile music space. According to Motorola, the move is a part of their strategy to create the complete music experience on the mobile, along with their new range of music handsets, including the ROKR E8.

Other interesting tidbits to come out of our meeting with Moto and Soundbuzz include:

· They're looking to add music sharing functionalities to the music experience
· At the moment, we're stuck with DRM tracks for mobile downloads - all the news we've been hearing about DRM-free downloads is for online only, as the music companies in the US haven't released the DRM-free parameters for mobile use
· Soundbuzz now sells tracks at 192Kbps WMA
· Motorola will be looking to leverage their relationship with ARIA by putting an ARIA button on all their new ROKR phones, in lieu of the music button
· Forget about this creating pricing cuts on purchasing mobile music - it's set by the networks, not Soundbuzz or Motorola

On the whole, it probably won't effect the end user all that much. But it's starting to look like Motorola are developing a pretty powerful strategy for knocking Sony Ericsson off the Walkman phone pedestal it's put itself on.