One of the first deals bundling a mobile phone with media downloads was launched by Samsung and GETMO Arabia at the opening day of the Gitex Technology Week conference yesterday. GETMO Arabia - a digital download portal and joint venture between the Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC) and the Bertelsmann subsidiary Arvato Middle East Sales - has formed a partnership with Samsung to bundle its content with the mobile phone maker's devices, the two companies announced. The announcement comes a day after the portal, launched in the business-to-business community in May, began offering its downloads of music, movies, games, videos, screensavers and ringtones to the public. "The idea is to bundle with every Samsung phone a GETMO card," said Claudius Boller, the vice president of business development for GETMO Arabia. These cards are also now available at Jumbo Electronics. The first Samsung phone to be packaged with GETMO content will be unveiled at the Gitex conference today, said Neeraj Seth, the marketing manager for mobile phones of Samsung Middle East and Africa. "Samsung will be bundling a couple of phones, not specific to one particular model, but it will certainly include all the music phones that Samsung has," he said. The phones selected for the tie-up will vary by region, he said. The deal covers Samsung phones in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan. In the initial offering, users will have the option to download 20 songs from a list of the most popular songs on the site, which is refreshed often, he said. Ricky Ghai, the executive director of ADMC's digital media group - the owner and publisher of The National - said the deal was the first of its kind for GETMO Arabia. "Samsung is really endorsing GETMO as a credible portal, which is what we needed." He said the deal was different from Nokia's recent attempt to tap into the digital services market through its Ovi brand, unveiled in June, because GETMO's portal was "agnostic" when it came to devices, while Nokia's was specific to its phone. This openness to an array of devices, including MP3 players, personal computers and mobile phones, also sets GETMO apart from Apple's iTunes, the online music store to which it is most frequently compared. Like most online music stores, the iTunes Music Store is not available in the Middle East. "The success of GETMO really depends on the consumer, because there hasn't been an offering like this in the Middle East, where a single portal is the destination for all content," Mr Ghai said. Since the launch of the GETMO Arabia concept last spring, the company has been testing the mechanics of the portal, streamlining registration procedures and signing deals with music labels and other media companies to broaden its offerings. Today, subscribers can download content from labels such as Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, Mazzika, Melody Music and Hungama. More tie-ups are expected soon. "We are having discussions with Rotana," said Mr Boller. All content on the site is copyrighted, giving subscribers an opportunity to download legally in a region known as a primary battleground in the fight against piracy. "I think that it has changed the consciousness of people," Mr Ghai said. "The tendency to take pirate media is very high, but I think over a very short period of time there will be an adoption that people will take." GETMO also differs from many existing online music stores in that it is designed to be partially supported by advertising, which will lower the cost of the media to the consumer. email@example.com
Randi Sokoloff Staff
GETMO bundles up with Samsung
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