Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 11:37 UK

Mobile music for teens who top up

Lady Gaga
Users will get free access to secret gigs from artists such as Lady Gaga

Orange is teaming up with Universal and Channel 4 to offer a music streaming service which it hopes will help combat piracy.

Dubbed Monkey, the service is aimed at the young mobile customers who are less likely to have expensive handsets or mobile internet packages.

Users who top up their talk time by at least £10 a month will get access to 600 minutes of music streaming.

Channel 4 plans to promote the Monkey service via its 4Music brand.

Cash-strapped

Orange has also teamed up with mobile advertising firm Blyk and will send users free offers and promotions based on their tastes.

"Unlike some music services which are either restricted to high-end more expensive handsets or have download costs, Monkey is for everyone. All you need to do is top up to get free music on any handset," said Tom Alexander, chief executive of Orange UK.

Users can access the service by dialling 247 and will be presented with a choice of eight pre-set playlists from various music genres. These will be updated regularly.

Mark Little, principal analyst at research firm Ovum, thinks the move is a budget version of the deal Spotify is hoping to sign with Apple and Google.

"Spotify is still waiting to sign with Apple's and Google's high-end smart phones that targets a slightly older, wealthier consumer. Orange is looking to pop free music into the pockets of the most cash-strapped youth market with the objective of growing pay-as-you-go," he said.

The Monkey tariff will also give users access to a website where they can set up playlists, share tracks and access exclusive content such as secret gigs performed by Universal artists such as Lady Gaga.



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