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Aspiro Music: Flying Start for Unique Music Streaming Collaboration – Industry Supports WiMP’s Strong Editorial Line

Music Streaming Service WiMP launched in the Norwegian market last month. The service is a joint venture between Aspiro (STO:ASP) and Platekompaniet, launched in cooperation with Telenor. Such cooperation between a telecom operator, a technical supplier and a traditional music retail store is unique in the European market. The music industry considers WiMP’s strong editorial focus as one of the key success factors.

WiMP's ambition is to offer its listeners a complete catalogue of music in all genres. The service is simple to use and the listener is able to easily find the music he is looking for. In addition, WiMP aims to have a strong editorial side. Competent editors continuously assemble interesting information and fresh play lists in various genres. WiMP further seeks to use the help of music experts to inform the listener about what is happening within the various genres and what are the essential releases. With this, WiMP hopes to help the listener explore new music and contribute to a general rise in music discovery.

“We believe the key success factors for the Aspiro music streaming service are the user experience, allowing easy ways of discovering new music and sharing it with friends, together with a local approach to the market, as we have with Platekompaniet in Norway”, says CEO of Aspiro Music Per Einar Dybvik.

The record companies have also received the WiMP approach enthusiastically.

“Music subscription services are an important part of the industry's emerging digital landscape, and it is with enthusiasm we now see that WiMP has gone live. The focus on local Norwegian repertoire makes this service unique! We look forward to see the music-loving public getting the best technology for PC and mobile - combined with Platekompaniet’s commitment and knowledge of music and retail, making this service a complete offering to the Norwegian consumer”, says Petter Singsaas, CEO of Universal Music Norway.

“It is with great pleasure we see that the WiMP has finally been released. With its focus on Norwegian music, and with Platekompaniet’s musical expertise, everything is set for this to be a great success. At Sony Music, both locally and internationally, we have great faith in subscription-based services, and we look forward to a long and good cooperation with all those involved in the WiMP”, said Stein Vegusdal of Sony Music Entertainment Norway.

"WiMP offers fans a first-class music experience: easy-to-use, portable and affordable, with a particularly broad choice of repertoire in high-quality sound and the option to own favourites. We're delighted to see a major technology provider and a leading retailer launching a compelling music service that supports and extends their own businesses, whilst ensuring that artists and labels are properly compensated for the value their music creates," says Guttorm Raa, General Manager of Warner Music Norway.

“Emi highly appreciates the WiMP launch in Norway, as the owners of WiMP possesses a unique music competence which they will use for the best of the Norwegian music industry”, says Jarle Savio, New Media Manager at EMI records. “ WiMP has become a very good service focusing on music discovery and they have made the wise choice of running a strong editorial line to help the audience find new music. Platekompaniet, one of Europe’s best record store chains now also has a one-stop-shop where the public is free to choose which format they want their music in and when they want it. It is a major step in the right direction when it comes to user friendly music services.”

WiMP will also be a tool for artists and record labels to present their new releases. The artists can also contribute with their own playlists and thereby communicate directly with their fans through the service. This is also expected to help push an even higher share of local music. Another offering provided through the WiMP is the possibility for unsigned artists to register and get paid for their music.

General Manager of Norwegian artist organisation GramArt Elin Aamodt said: “For Norwegian artists, it is great to see a Norwegian streaming service with a focus on Norwegian music and aiming to have the best Norwegian catalogue, and with editorial content allowing the listeners to discover new Norwegian music. This could give Norwegian artists a wider audience. We also have confidence that WiMP will ensure that artists and licensees gets better paid than what we have seen from streaming services so far. We welcome the service and are very positive about this.”

Aspiro and Platekompaniet focus on the fact that artists, record labels and copyright holders must get paid for their music and aim for most artists to want to offer their music in the service. WiMP is therefore only available as a subscription service with a payment model ensuring that everyone gets their share.

“Platekompaniet believes that legal services such as the WiMP will hopefully mark the beginning of the end for the music industry’s challenges surrounding illegal downloading”, says Rolf Presthus of Platekompaniet.

Aspiro in Brief

Aspiro has a unique position as the world’s only provider of both streaming music and TV services delivered as a complete white label service to partners. As the market leader in mobile entertainment in the Northern European region, Aspiro utilize over ten years mobile technology and retail experience, delivering its premium services to companies worldwide including T-Mobile, Telefónica O2, Telenor, 3, TeliaSonera, BBC, Thumbplay, Aftonbladet, mBlox, TVNorge, Entel and VG. Aspiro is listed on the Nasdaq OMX Stock Exchange in Stockholm, with local presence in all Nordic and Baltic countries and the US. 2009 sales were SEK 441 m and the company has some 140 employees.

Platekompaniet in Brief

Platekompaniet sells home entertainment, music, movies and games in the Norwegian market, with the goal of being the number one choice for consumers in this range. Platekompaniet are market leaders in sales of CD’s and DVD’s in Norway. The chain was founded in 1992, has 340 employees and 2009 revenues of 641 million NOK.

Telenor in Brief

The Telenor Group is an international provider of high quality tele, data and media communication services with mobile operations in 13 markets across the Nordic region, Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia. Headquartered in Norway, the Telenor Group is among the largest mobile operators in the world with 174 million mobile subscriptions, revenues in 2009 of NOK 107 billion, and a workforce of more than 40,000. Telenor is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com

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