Digital is where it’s at and if we at t-break Media didn’t believe that, we would not exist. From ebooks to applications and multimedia, the future for almost all kinds of content is digital. However, are we in the UAE prepared for it? Lets talk about that- taking the music industry as an example.
For the record, Apple’s iTunes accounts for 70% of worldwide online digital music sales even though it doesn’t officially exist in the Middle East. Global giants such as Nokia, Amazon and Apple are aggressively vying for an increasing share of your wallet through the sale of digital music- through online stores and over-the-air download. This obviously doesn’t go down too well with traditional music stores that are facing an unpleasant truth of declining sales. However, if they don’t change their business model radically to reflect the new digital world, they will soon be out of business.
This global reality is starting to touch UAE – following the unveiling of Nokia’s ‘Comes With Music’ offering earlier this year. However, bandwidth restrictions and the insane costs of mobile data communications do not necessarily allow the digital segment to grow as fast as the rest of the world. That has to, and will change over the next few quarters. The sale of digital music via over-the-air downloads onto the mobile phone is definitely here to stay, and at least Nokia expects the take-up in UAE and across the region to be swift and the volumes to be significant enough to make this a viable alternative to the traditional model.
According to Frederic Copper-Royer, Music Manager, Nokia Middle East and Africa, the global music industry has accepted that the digital distribution channel is the way forward. “Big music groups, including Universal Music Group, Sony Corporation’s Sony Music, Warner Music Group, EMI and thousands of independent labels are opting to sell songs and albums electronically with global organisations including Nokia.”
He says the opportunity for local artists opting to distribute their music digitally in UAE and across the region is important. “While online distribution (via your computer’s internet connection) is at the center of the digital music experience as we know it, the real new opportunity is selling music via the mobile device.” says Copper-Royer. “Now that these users have the very real possibility of making over-the-air music downloads we expect to see significant penetration in a relatively short time frame.”
I agree with Mr. Copper-Royer. OTA downloads to your device is certainly the way forward with Smartphones getting smart enough to become your primary connectivity tool to the Internet. What do you think?