Bango (LSE:BGO) today announced an agreement with mobile music service Psonar to power its innovative new pay-per-play digital music streaming service.
Psonar’s pay-per-play proposition is straightforward – listen to a track that you don’t own for 1 cent (or 1 eurocent) per play. Tracks can be listened to in full, uninterrupted and with no intrusive advertising or monthly subscriptions. This breakthrough pricing model will feed the rapidly growing appetite for streamed music, especially driven by increased consumption from mobile devices.
To support this pricing model, Psonar is using the Bango payment platform, which presents the user with a pay-to-phone-bill charge at a level that leverages the economics of mobile payment processing to the phone bill. Mobile bill payment is supplemented by credit card and PayPal. The user can then spend the funds as they consume more music at just a penny a play, creating a radical pricing model for mass market music consumption.
Psonar’s pay-per-play service additionally allows users to gift tracks and whole playlists to friends by simply pre-paying for the recipient to listen one or more times. Each play is charged, meaning record labels and artists are assured of revenue for every single use of the content.

“The Bango payment platform has supported super-micro level charging for a long time,” said Anil Malhotra, SVP Marketing at Bango. “Psonar’s use of this feature for music can be extended into other applications, to enable the extremely affordable consumption of video, gaming and other digital content. The mobile industry revolutionized voice calling with pay-as-you-go charging, this has the potential to revolutionize digital content consumption especially where pricing has become a barrier to ubiquity.”

Martin Rigby, Psonar CEO, comments:

“Psonar aims to answer the digital music dilemma that forces users to choose between expensive subscription-based streaming services or pay to own tracks which limits the amount of music consumed and encourages copying and side-loading. By leveraging Bango mobile payments, our highly flexible pricing model meets the huge demand for music at low cost and on a pay-as-you-play go basis amongst the mobile generation.”

Supported by music and video distributor, The Orchard, as a launch partner, Psonar is initially launching pay-per-play across Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland and Scandinavia in Q2 2011. North America is targeted for later in the year.
Karim Fanous, head of Insight & Strategy at industry watcher Music Ally comments: “As online streaming continues to gain traction with an increasingly younger, socially adept, mobile generation of listeners, Psonar’s radical take on the online music market is both refreshing and needed.”
Psonar’s pay-per-play will initially be available online via desktop access and HTML5 enabled phones. BlackBerry and iPhone apps are due for launch in Q1 2011, followed by other major smartphone platforms.
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