Grameenphone Music

OnMobile Global has tied-up with Bangladesh-based telecom operator Grameenphone to launch a digital music store called Grameenphone Music (GP Music). This online store is accessible both on the web and through an Android app. OnMobile has powered the content management system (CMS) behind the online store, as well as the billing technology and content rights management (CRM).

The company said that they’ve already tied-up with 15 artistes in Bangladesh, and OnMobile’s Ringback Tone (RBT) platform is also integrated with GP Music, which will allow users to select any track on the store as their caller tune. OnMobile has been providing its RBT service to Grameenphone since 2008.

The GP Music store currently predominantly features music from Bangladeshi bands, pop artistes, Bangladeshi film music, Rabindra Sangeet, and Indian Bengali artistes. It also features some English tracks by artistes like Pittbull, Psy, Kelly Rowland, and Michael Jackson among others. Some Bollywood music is also available on the platform. Users can download a single track for BDT (Bangladeshi Taka) 5 (plus 15% VAT and 3% Supplementary Duty) or Rs 4.10, and they can download a full album for BDT 40 (plus 15% VAT and 3% Supplementary Duty) or Rs 32.80. Interestingly, users can also re-download a track for free three more times after they’ve purchased it. GP Music also has a separate section for free tracks that users can download without having to purchase them. We’ve written to OnMobile for more information and will update once we hear back.

It’s worth noting that Grameenphone already has a music streaming Android app called GP Music Stream. Users can opt for a monthly, fortnightly, weekly and even a daily package for the app priced at BDT 95, BDT 55, BDT 25 and BDT 8, respectively. The service, which is only available to Grameenphone subscribers in Bangladesh, offers music streaming minus advertisements.

Grameenphone is a joint venture between Norwegian telecom major Telenor and Grameen Telecom Corporation. Telenor holds a 55.8% stake in Grameenphone, Grameen Telecom Corporation holds a 34.2% stake and the remaining 10% is held publicly. As of March 2015, Grameenphone claims to have over 52 million customers.

OnMobile’s next gen RBT product: OnMobile launched a new RBT product in March 2015, managing director and CEO Rajiv Pancholy said during the company’s Q4-FY15 earnings conference call. He mentioned that it is fundamentally a different kind of product and makes several new features available to the users of the RBT service, especially for smartphone users who are able to use newly designed application to interact with the new service. He also mentioned that this was the first introduction that OnMobile has made in its “transition away from a network-centric 2G service provider to an organization that generates applications in the smartphone space and today’s mechanism.” Pancholy had also spoken at length about how it’s important for OnMobile to be able go directly to the consumers and thereby control pricing to a greater degree.

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