Met some nice people from eircom recently who told me about their future broadband plans as well as their plans for content. Not one of them wore a tie by the way. eircom will be relaunching their new music store very soon and from what I’m told it’s being built using lots of web 2.0 goodness. They’re also using a well-known and respected Irish company to design the store. Nice to see young local companies being used. They’ll be launching IPTV next year and are doing deals with media producers to get channels on the service as well as selling/renting movies and videos.
What I’m liking most about all of this is that the people looking after these areas are very enthusiastic and definitely are unlike the old eircom where the attitude seemed to be reject the new and hold on to the old ways as much as you can. Love that they are using the Last.FM engine to make recommendations to people. “If you like this, you’ll probably like this”. Better than Amazon’s recommendations based on purchases alone. They’re also getting the idea of the long tail by going around and trying to get as much local talent on to the store as possible. Perhaps they’ll add a podcast section some day? I asked them the dodgy DRM question and for labels that insist on it, they’ll use it but a lot of their music will be DRM-free. Universal looks to be on the way of getting rid of DRM completely anyway and yeah, they should be able to offer more content than iTunes because of that Universal/Apple spat.
Here’s some of the features:
- The music channel will carry music from all the major labels, plus international and Irish independents, offering the widest range of products in Ireland â€“ 800k tracks at launch; 7k videos, 27k polyphonic ringtones, 8k realtones.
- Also features music news, album reviews, plus an Ireland-wide music events guide
- In partnership with downloadmusic.ie, the channel will include free MP3s, videos, and a 24/7 streaming music player.
- Music store Includes music recommendations from Last.fm, a media player where users can compile sample playlists, and 30sec samples before you buy
- Channel will offer the widest range of download types in the Irish market place. Customers can download in multiple formats â€“ to pc, to mobile, dual download (simultaneously to pc and mobile), video, real tones & poly tones and wallpaper.
- Customers can pay for downloads by either credit card or through premium rate SMS
- Entire EMI catalogue is DRM-free, so there are no restrictions on usage
- DRM-enabled tracks can be burnt to CD or transferred to appropriate media players
I’d love to see what it looks like at the end of the day. Right now I can’t access the music section on eircom.net with Firefox or Internet Explorer due to some overzealous scripts saying I don’t have the right version of IE and Windows Media player. That’s not good. Lastly, eircom are turning up at more and more tech events like BarCamps and Open Coffees and want to meet local tech companies. Do say hello to them, you might get some work from them!