The Chinese wireless value-added services sector has been blown back with news that China Mobile will formally implement centralized management of its wireless music content from January 1, 2010, and all of its color ring back tone content will be introduced from its music base in Sichuan province.
According to the notice issued by China Mobile, during a transition period from July 2009 to the end of this year, China Mobile's provincial branches should stop introducing new CRBT partners and stop renewal of contracts with existing partners. Music content, including albums, songs, pure music, and customized ring back tones, that have already been introduced or plan to be introduced by China Mobile's central music platform should not be repeatedly introduced by provincial CRBT platforms.
In the future, the central music platform will be the only access site for China Mobile's wireless music contents and it will provide various music products to the company's provincial branches.
The CRBT service is reportedly the second largest data service for China Mobile, following the short message service. A representative from China Mobile's data department said facing the new wireless music market, China Mobile has investigated how best to exploit the market. During the initial development of the CRBT service, China Mobile's provincial branches built their models independently, which led to a waste of music resources and affected the experiences of users and the unified cooperation with record companies. So this new centralized model will hopefully give China Mobile much more control over excluding WVAS partners whose products lack good revenue-generating capabilities.