Virgin Mobile USA Opens User-Generated Music Marketplace

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Phones are social devices, and that has carriers and manufacturers pushing the limits on interactivity.

Just recently, Virgin Mobile USA unveiled a user-generated concept called Studio V, an image and music-oriented play.  The multi-platform offering encourages participants to create their own ringtones and wallpapers, then sell them to other subscribers.  The networked marketplace is designed to generate revenues for Virgin, while also kicking a percentage back to the creators.

Studio V prices wallpapers at $1.99 each, and ringtones at $2.50 each.  Ringtones and images are created online, then uploaded into the mobile realm.  When another subscriber purchases original content, the creator receives a 10-cent account credit.  Consumers must also pay fees to transfer their own content to their handhelds.  “Studio V provides the youth market, already consuming ringtones and wallpapers, with the tools to be able to express themselves and download mobile content that is unique to them,” said Josh Barkin, president and chief executive of 9 Track Mind, a technology partner in the effort.