Omnifone

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Omnifone
Type Limited
Industry Digital music services
Founded 14 January 2003 (2003-01-14)
Founder(s) Rob Lewis, Phil Sant, Mark Knight
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Area served US
Canada
UK
Ireland
Australia
New Zealand
France
Germany
Italy
Spain
Austria
The Netherlands
Belgium
Luxembourg
Sweden
Norway
Finland
Denmark
Switzerland
Croatia
Hungary
Singapore
Hong Kong
Taiwan
South Africa
Brazil
Mexico
Japan
Key people Rob Lewis (Executive Chairman), Jeff Hughes (CEO)
Products Sony Music Unlimited, RIM BBM Music, MusicStation, Sony Ericsson PlayNow plus, rara.com
Employees 200 people
Website www.omnifone.com

Omnifone is an independent provider of cloud-based unlimited music services to consumer electronics vendors, mobile carriers, Internet service providers and consumer brands including RIM,[1] Sony,[2] HP,[3] and rara.com.[4]

Omnifone enables legitimate cloud-based unlimited music consumption and a viable alternative to piracy across multiple in-home, in-car, mobile and PC platforms[5] and has launched its MusicStation-powered unlimited music services across five continents[6] on a wide range[7][8] of devices.

Licensing[edit]

Omnifone operates licensed music services in 34[9] markets for its customers which include Sony Music Unlimited, Guvera, SiriusXM and rara.com.

In June 2007 Omnifone secured the first international licensing agreements for unlimited music services with all four major music labels; Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music.[10]

In January 2011 Omnifone secured Germany's first global subscription licensing with GEMA.[11] In July 2012 Omnifone licensed and launched Sony Entertainment Network's Music Unlimited service in Japan, the region's ever first global music subscription service.[12]

Services[edit]

Main article: MusicStation Platform

MusicStation[13] is Omnifone’s multi-award winning[14] unlimited music service platform. The cloud based technology platform works across a wide range of different digital device types and is tailored specifically for each market, platform and partner.[15] Omnifone provides a number of different variants of MusicStation:

Omnifone's Desktop applications enable consumers to stream, download, play and share music, direct to their desktop computer.[16] The service is provided in partnership with personal computer vendors, mobile carrier networks, and broadband providers.[17] MusicStation Desktop Edition provides a personalised user experience, which features play-based music recommendations, connected community services and features, and an automatic back-up of private and public playlists to the cloud, plus online search and discovery capabilities. The service is able to synchronise with all other MusicStation-powered services and mobile devices via the cloud. In April 2009 Hutchison Telecom became the first[18] Omnifone partner to introduce MusicStation Desktop Edition to users in Hong Kong on its 3 network provided ‘in concert’ with MusicStation Mobile Edition providing unlimited access to music across mobile and PC. In January 2010 MusicStation launched across Europe on HP desktop and laptop PCs in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands.[3]

Omnifone provides a range of white label and co-branded mobile apps for all major mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile and Java.[19] Omnifone partnered with mobile carriers and handset manufacturers to deliver mobile app based services which give consumers the ability to stream, download, play and share unlimited amounts of music, direct-to-mobile.[20] MusicStation is pre-installed by partner carriers or downloaded for free from carrier portals such as Vodafone Live!. Omnifone has rolled out mobile apps with partners across five continents with Vodafone UK,[21] Australia[22] and New Zealand,[23] Telenor Sweden,[24] 3 Hong Kong,[25] Vodacom South Africa.[26]

Funding[edit]

Omnifone is privately funded by the company’s founders Rob Lewis, Phil Sant and Mark Knight with additional funding from diversified alternative investment firm Sofaer Capital.[27]

Partnership with Gracenote[edit]

Omnifone announced a partnership with Gracenote in January 2009[28] to bring interoperable cloud based unlimited music services to multiple device platforms including in-car, in-home, PC and mobile devices. A demonstration of the Omnifone/Gracenote technology won a Best of CES award at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2009[29] followed a year later by an announcement at CES 2010 that Omnifone had introduced digital music services with Gracenote technology in 20 countries in 2009.[30]

History[edit]

UK entrepreneurs Rob Lewis, Phil Sant and Mark Knight established Omnifone in January 2003 after more than seven years working together in the internet space founding software development company Cromwell Media (sold to InterX for £850m in 2000)[31] and IT industry news site Silicon.com[32] (sold to NASDAQ-listed CNET Networks, part of CBS in 2001).[33] The trio founded Omnifone to enable the next generation of digital content services to be delivered globally. The company spent four years developing its unlimited music service platform before announcing MusicStation in February 2007.[31]

  • 14 January 2003: British Entrepreneurs Rob Lewis, Phil Sant and Mark Knight form Omnifone[34]
  • 12 February 2007: Omnifone announces MusicStation[35]
  • 14 June 2007: MusicStation goes live with its first rollout in Sweden with Telenor[36]
  • 22 October 2007: MusicStation launches in Hong Kong with 3[37]
  • 1 November 2007: MusicStation launches in South Africa with Vodacom[38]
  • 1 November 2007: MusicStation launches in the UK with Vodafone[39]
  • 12 February 2008: Omnifone launches MusicStation Max, a pre-licensed unlimited music phone development programme with LG signed up as a handset manufacturer[40]
  • 15 September 2008: MusicStation launches in New Zealand with Vodafone[41]
  • 22 September 2008: MusicStation launches in Australia with Vodafone[42]
  • 24 September 2008: Omnifone announces partnership with Sony Ericsson to power PlayNow plus, its pre-licensed unlimited downloads service across Walkman mobiles[43]
  • 14 November 2008: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Sweden with Telenor[44]
  • 8 January 2009: Omnifone announces partnership with Gracenote to bring unlimited music to multiple device platforms[45]
  • 12 January 2009: Omnifone powered in-car entertainment system CarStars wins CNET ‘Best of CES’ Car Tech award at the 2009 International Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas; the largest consumer electronics event in the world[46]
  • 16 February 2009: Omnifone announces MusicStation Next Generation unlimited music service for ISPs to fight piracy online, confirming reports that it is in discussions with BSkyB as its first ISP customer[47]
  • 13 March 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Switzerland with Swisscom[48]
  • 2 April 2009: MusicStation Desktop Edition launches in Hong Kong[49]
  • 23 April 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Singapore with Singtel[50]
  • 9 June 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Austria with Orange[51]
  • 8 September 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in The Netherlands with T-Mobile[52]
  • 14 October 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Hungary with T-Mobile[53]
  • 19 October 2009: BSkyB launches Sky Songs streaming and downloads service in the UK[54]
  • 23 October 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Brazil with Vivo[55]
  • 9 November 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Mexico with Telcel[56]
  • 20 November 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Croatia with T-Mobile[57]
  • 21 November 2009: Sony Ericsson launches PlayNow plus in Singapore with M1[58]
  • 8 January 2010: Omnifone extends relationship with Gracenote, allows for cloud-based music solutions in more than 30 countries in 2010[59]
  • 25 January 2010: Omnifone announces partnership with HP for MusicStation on PCs in 10 countries across Europe[3]
  • 15 February 2010: Omnifone announces MusicStation for Android[60]
  • 16 February 2010: Omnifone first to encode its global music catalogue into Dolby Pulse file format for cloud based digital music services in 2010[61]
  • 16 April 2010: Omnifone appoints Jeff Hughes as CEO[62]
  • 22 December 2010: Sony launches Q Music Unlimited cloud music service powered by Omnifone in the UK and Ireland[2]
  • 22 January 2011: Sony launches Q Music Unlimited cloud music service powered by Omnifone in France, Germany, Italy and Spain[63]
  • 17 February 2011: Sony launches Q Music Unlimited cloud music service powered by Omnifone in the US, Australia and New Zealand[64]
  • 25 August 2011: RIM launches BBM Music social music service in beta – powered by Omnifone in the US, Canada and the UK[65]
  • 13 December 2011: rara.com launches across Europe and the USA – powered by Omnifone[4]
  • 14 December 2011: rara.com launches across New Zealand – powered by Omnifone[66]

Awards[edit]

Omnifone has won a number of awards for its unlimited music services including:

  • Omnifone ranked 4th place in the Deloitte 2012 UK Technology Fast 50[67] and 1st in EMEA Fast 500 Media & Entertainment category[68]
  • The Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100: Omnifone was ranked 20th in the 2012 league table for continued growth over the past three years[69]
  • Ernst & Young UK Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2009: London & South – Rob Lewis, CEO, Omnifone[70]
  • Oracle UK Partner Awards 2009 – Most Innovative use of Oracle Technology[71]
  • CNET ‘Best of CES’ Car Tech Award 2009 – with Gracenote[72]
  • Global Mobile Awards 2008 – Best Mobile Music Service Award[73]
  • Mobile Industry Awards 2008 – Best Mobile Internet Service[74]
  • Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) Meffys 2007 – Music Service Award Meffy[75]
  • Juniper Research Future Music Awards 2008 – Gold Award for Mobile Music[76]
  • PwC UK Technology, Innovation & Growth Awards 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year – Rob Lewis, CEO, Omnifone[77]
  • Oracle Magazine Editor’s Choice Awards 2008 Embedded Architect of the Year – Phil Sant, COO and Mark Knight, Chief Architect, Omnifone[78]
  • Mediatech 100 2008[79]
  • MCA (Mobile Content Awards) 2008: Silver Award: Best entertainment service[80]
  • MAMA (Mobile Advertising & Marketing Awards) 2008: Gold Award: Most Effective Use of Music[81]
  • AO (Always On) Global 250 2008[82]
  • Red Herring 100 2007 – EMEA Award 2007[83]
  • Red Herring 100 2007 – Global Award 2007[84]

Locations[edit]

Omnifone is headquartered in Brook Green, London,[85] with offices in Asia Pacific and the US.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paid Content: 25 August 2011: RIM Breaks Social Ground With Its New BBM Music Service,
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  4. ^ a b [BBC News: 13 December 2011: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16168384]
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  9. ^ http://www.omnifone.com/content/2013-omnifone-10-year-anniversary
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  14. ^ Omnifone Awards[dead link]
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  60. ^ Forde, Eamonn (15 February 2010). "15 February 2010: MusicStation comes to Android". Music Week. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  61. ^ Forde, Eamonn. "16 February 2010: Dolby and Omnifone launch new format for the cloud". Music Week. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
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  67. ^ http://www.omnifone.com/content/2012-deloitte-tech-50
  68. ^ http://www.omnifone.com/content/2012-1st-deloitte-tech-emea
  69. ^ http://www.omnifone.com/content/2012-st-tech-100
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  72. ^ Cunningham, Wayne (8 January 2009). "CNET: ‘Best of CES’ Car Tech Award 2009 – with Gracenote". Reviews.cnet.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
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  74. ^ Mobile: Mobile Industry Awards 2008 – Best Mobile Internet Service
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  76. ^ Juniper Research Future Music Awards 2008 – Gold Award for Mobile Music[dead link]
  77. ^ "PwC UK Technology, Innovation & Growth Awards 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year – Rob Lewis, CEO, Omnifone". Mem09.com. 28 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  78. ^ "Oracle Magazine Editor’s Choice Awards 2008 Embedded Architect of the Year – Phil Sant, COO and Mark Knight, Chief Architect, Omnifone". Oracle.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  79. ^ "Mediatech 100 2008". Kemplittle.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  80. ^ Author: Peggy Anne Salz (24 June 2008). "MCA (Mobile Content Awards) 2008: Silver Award: Best entertainment service". Msearchgroove.com. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  81. ^ "MAMA (Mobile Advertising & Marketing Awards) 2008: Gold Award: Most Effective Use of Music". Reuters. 27 March 2008. Retrieved 12 January 2012. 
  82. ^ AO (Always On) Global 250 2008[dead link]
  83. ^ Red Herring 100 2007 – EMEA Award 2007[dead link]
  84. ^ Red Herring 100 2007 – Global Award 2007[dead link]
  85. ^ http://www.omnifone.com/content/contact-us

External links[edit]