AT&T Adds eMusic to Customers’ Ears

OK, so Apple’s iPhone is a big deal and it’s supposed to change
everything, but AT&T is ready to move on with business.

Today, the company, which is also the exclusive service
provider for the iPhone, launched an over-the-air music download
service with eMusic.

The service will give AT&T customers the
ability to preview and purchase music from
eMusic’s catalog of 2.7 million songs via their wireless devices. The service is $7.49 a month and customers get five songs a month.

AT&T spokesman Warner May told the new
service will work on four AT&T-supported devices: the Samsung
a717 and a727; new versions of the Samsung SYNC; and the Nokia N75.

Note that Apple’s iPhone isn’t one of them.

“This is different than the iPhone. This is our first over the air
service,” May said.

He’s right. One of the few, but oft-repeated drawbacks of the iPhone,
critics say, is that despite its Internet connectivity, users can’t
actually purchase music from iTunes directly to the device.

That criticism hasn’t kept analysts from predicting big things for
AT&T because of its exclusive partnership with Apple . In June, a research report from Cowen and Company
suggested AT&T will gain 1.4 percent of the wireless
market by the end of fiscal year 2008 because of the iPhone.

But despite the iPhone hysteria, AT&T is apparently not ready to
stand pat.

May said the company is just trying to offer consumers
another option, just like it did when partnering with Napster and
Yahoo music in fall 2006.

The monthly eMusic price gets customers two copies of their five songs, one for their mobile devices and one for their home computers. AT&T said
additional packages of five songs are available for the same price
whenever desired.

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