By GABEY GOHbytz@thestar.com.my
KUALA LUMPUR: Access to over 18 million songs may soon be available for Malaysian drivers, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Clarion Malaysia and Britain-based Prodigium Mobile.
Under the MoU, Clarion has been appointed the exclusive licensee in Asia for the automotive industry, making the company the only car audio manufacturer in the region that can offer its customers access to Prodigium Mobile's Internet-based music store.
Prodigium is a cloud-based digital media provider that holds the rights to a fully licensed catalogue of over 18 million fully Digital Rights Management (DRM)-free songs for sale in Asian currencies.
T.K. Tan, managing director of Clarion Malaysia said that this marks the first time a car audio manufacturer is providing its customers access to buy and download music.
"With the availability of the online music download feature, the Clarion Mirage is a unique smart car stereo for the Asian market," said Tan.
The Android-based Clarion Mirage, launched on March 27, will be the first car stereo system that comes with the option to access the Prodigium Mobile music store.
Calling his company "young" but with "big dreams for Asia," Prodigium Mobile CEO Bill Duvall noted that most Asians have no proper way to buy fully licensed, high quality and DRM-free music online.
"Our aim is to open our music store to you, regardless of your devices' operating systems. We plan to provide Asian consumers with the option to buy music online using as many connected devices as possible," Duvall said.
"In the near future, you will have access to high quality 320Kbps MP3 files for playback at home, in the car, or wherever you are."
Clarion Malaysia will also collaborate with Prodigium Mobile to launch the "Music for Life" campaign, which will offer Clarion customers free song downloads periodically.
Under the campaign, and in support of independent music talents, Clarion said it is in the process of building a recording studio in Penang.
"With this facility in place, we will work with Prodigium to assist talented, independent Malaysian and Asian artistes to record their original music. We will also assist them in making their music available online for worldwide distribution," said Tan.
When asked about the availability of the service and the pricing structure for music purchases, both parties said details were still being finalised but consumers can expect the service to be officially launched "in the near future."