Motorola to buy Singapore's Soundbuzz


SINGAPORE -- Motorola will acquire Asia's largest mobile online music company, Soundbuzz, the companies said in a joint press conference Monday.

Neither company would confirm financial details of the deal, which is scheduled to close by the end of March.

The acquisition fast-tracks Motorola's mobile music delivery ambitions in Soundbuzz's traditionally strong markets of India, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Motorola's mobile music delivery via the MOTOMUSIC brand, has to date been confined to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, said Ian Chapman-Banks, Motorola vp of marketing for Asia Pacific mobile devices.

Based in Singapore, 9-year-old Soundbuzz offers 750,000 tracks and averages 200,000 monthly downloads and three million "mobile derivatives" including ringtones.

Soundbuzz chief executive Sudhanshu Sarronwala said new music services will be created with Motorola. Details were not released.

He said the post-acquisition structure will continue to focus on sourcing music from domestic majors in the Asia-Pacific region in addition to acquiring it from international labels including Sony BMG, EMI, Warner Music International and Universal Music Group.

"It's not just about having the top 40, it's about content that goes so deep that you can really see the long-tail effect," Sarronwala said.

The announcement follows Soundbuzz's partnership with the Singapore Government in Asia's first online high audio fidelity music store, launched in December. The service features the world-first Scalable-to-Lossless (SLS) technology, which allows consumers to buy a standard-quality music file and upgrade to a high-fidelity file later.