February 04, 2004

Prepaid Music

AT&T PrePaid Web Cents Technology Drives RealRhapsody Music at 7-Eleven Stores

Tuesday February 3, 10:04 am ET
7-Eleven, the nation's largest convenience store chain, will offer specialty-content card featuring online music from RealNetworks' RealRhapsody service

MORRISTOWN, N.J., Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- AT&T today announced that 7-Eleven« stores will carry a new specialty-content card using AT&T PrePaid Web Cents« technology, providing access to RealRhapsody, the award-winning Internet jukebox service from RealNetworks«.

"With 7-Eleven joining the AT&T PrePaid Web Cents Service family, we have another winning combination of two premier companies reaching out to a growing base of consumers interested in purchasing online music," said Mark Evans, vice president of marketing and sales for AT&T Prepaid Service. "As a global leader in convenience retailing, 7-Eleven, with its 5,300 nationwide stores, can demonstrate its ability to provide consumers with access to RealRhapsody's online music without them having to use a credit card."

The RealRhapsody card, available at participating 7-Eleven stores for $14.95, will provide consumers with one month of access to RealRhapsody's enormous music library and the ability to build a personal collection of tunes by being able to burn 15 songs.

RealRhapsody ( www.real.com/rhapsody ) is the number one Internet jukebox service, offering unlimited access to a vast library of more than 35,000 albums for a monthly fee. RealRhapsody enables consumers to listen to more than 500,000 songs on-demand and purchase more than 425,000 songs. In addition to burning full albums or custom-mixing CDs, RealRhapsody lets consumers build their own Internet radio stations, listen to professionally programmed stations and browse extensive music information and editorial recommendations.

"Working with AT&T and 7-Eleven makes it convenient for on-the-go consumers to pick up RealRhapsody at thousands of locations across the country," said Sean Ryan, vice president of music services, RealNetworks. "The RealRhapsody card processed via AT&T PrePaid Web Cents technology allows consumers to sample thousands of songs and burn a CD with 15 of their favorites, all at a substantial discount."

Kevin Cooper, 7-Eleven, Inc.'s category manager for prepaid services, stated, "Our collaboration with AT&T to offer RealRhapsody's music to 7-Eleven stores across the country demonstrates our commitment to fulfilling our customers' needs and desire for alternative means of paying for online music content."

Other exciting specialty-content cards supported by AT&T PrePaid Web Cents technology and available at over 20,000 nationwide retailers include:

-- Disney's Blast ( www.disneyblast.com ) from Disney Online
-- Disney's Toontown Online ( www.toontown.com ) from Disney Online
-- GameBlast ( www.prepaid.gameblast.com ) from Shockwave.com
-- MobileCraze Cards ( www.mobilecraze.com ) from Cellus USA
-- Vindigo 2.0 Subscription Cards ( www.vindigo.com ) from Vindigo
Studios
-- Fantasy Sports Season Pass Cards ( www.cbs.sportsline.com ) from CBS
Sportsline.com


Introduced in April 2003, AT&T PrePaid Web Cents Service is a secure payment alternative for consumer purchases of online content. AT&T's full-service program enables content providers to offer consumers a way to prepay for online content by purchasing specialty cards in traditional retail outlets, such as 7-Eleven stores. Each line of specialty cards carries a specific content provider's brand and is used exclusively to purchase that provider's online content on its site.

AT&T manages the retail supply chain: production, warehousing, inventory, fulfillment and point-of-sale activation of the content providers' specialty cards, as well as day-to-day management of vendor relationships and retail operations. In addition, AT&T can handle all transaction-processing functions: PIN database management, payment authentication, customer e-care and settlements with retailers.

More information on AT&T PrePaid Web Cents Service ( www.webcents.att.com ), as well as AT&T PrePaid Phone Cards and AT&T PrePaid Internet Service, is available at www.att.com/prepaidcard .

About AT&T

For more than 125 years, AT&T (NYSE "T") has been known for unparalleled quality and reliability in communications. Backed by the research and development capabilities of AT&T Labs, the company is a global leader in local, long distance, Internet and transaction-based voice and data services.

AT&T PrePaid Web Cents Backgrounder

The News Event

On February 3, AT&T is announcing an agreement with 7-Eleven to market AT&T Web Cards that allow customers to download music from RealRhapsody, the Internet jukebox service from RealNetworks. The cards will be available in 5,300 7-Eleven stores.

What Are PrePaid Web Cents Cards?

The cards are a secure payment alternative for consumer purchases of online digital content. AT&T's service enables digital content providers to offer consumers a way to prepay for online digital content by purchasing specialty cards in traditional retail outlets.

AT&T manages the retail supply chain: production, warehousing, inventory, fulfillment and point-of-sale activation of the content providers' specialty cards, as well as day-to-day management of vendor relationships and retail operations. AT&T also can handle all transaction processing functions: PIN database management, payment authentication, customer e-care and settlements with retailers.

Prepaid specialty cards supported by AT&T PrePaid Web Cents technology are sold at traditional retail outlets. They carry a specific content provider's brand and are used to purchase that provider's online content.

Consumers simply purchase a card from displays at a participating retailer. The retailer activates the card at the point of sale, and it's ready for use. To use the card, the consumer logs on to the content provider's Web site directly or through the AT&T PrePaid Web Cents site ( www.webcents.att.com ). The consumer is prompted to enter the serial number and PIN printed on the back of the card to begin purchasing digital content. AT&T processes the payment using AT&T PrePaid Web Cents technology.

The specialty cards can be used to purchase a variety of online content such as interactive games, ring tones, graphics, maps, guidebooks, digital music, streaming audio and video, software, research services, and more. Each card is issued by the content provider and is exclusively for use on its site.

What's The Trend?

More and more consumers are willing to purchase compelling online content (e.g., music, games, software, dating services, etc.) As a result, more online content companies are pursuing pay-for-content business models -- in essence, "monetizing" their content. Also, the expansion on broadband high-speed access will create more opportunities for content applications.

The Market

Although no research is available on the prepaid digital-content card market, there is data from Jupiter Research on the digital market itself -- all fair game for prepaid Internet cards.

-- Including sales of physical goods, digital goods and services, and
ticketing, US online entertainment (e.g., music, film, games and
sports) will grow from a $6.9 billion market in 2002 to a
$15.7 billion market in 2007.
-- In 2002, the online digital content industry was a $1.4B category-and
it's expected to grow to $5.8 billion by 2006.
-- Online music will continue to be the largest online entertainment
segment, followed by films and games.
-- Digital subscriptions and downloads will grow from $800 million in
2003 to nearly $3.5 billion in 2007.

AT&T in the Market
-- Prepaid voice and internet cards generate 10 percent of AT&T
Consumer's revenue -- about $1 billion.
-- We don't break out revenue between voice and Internet prepaid cards.
-- No other telecommunications company of which we're aware offer such
specialty cards.


More Specifics on How The Cards Are Used

Content providers can choose to make cards available in monetary or unit denominations or in weekly, monthly or annual subscriptions. Monetary or unit denomination cards have specific values, which are applied against the purchase of the content provider's digital content. With subscription-based cards, the consumer can access the online content or make multiple downloads for the length of the subscription. Content providers can choose to have the total value of the card deducted at first use or have AT&T manage the cards' multiple transactions or additional use during a subscription period.

Examples of how consumers use the cards:

Disney's Blast ( www.disneyblast.com ) from Disney Online is a subscription-based, advertising-free online service that offers more than 100 games and activities in a secure, parent-trusted environment. The subscription card was announced in April 2003 and is available now for the first time at Wal-Mart.

Disney's Toontown ( www.toontown.com ), the first massively multiplayer 3D online game for kids and families. The online subscription card will be packaged with a CD-ROM of the game assets.

MobileCraze Cards, from Cellus USA, can be used to purchase an array of online content for a mobile phone, including ring tones, jokes, voicemail greetings, and picture messages. Introduced in April 2003, the cards are available at Wal-Mart and other participating retail outlets.

Fantasy Sports Season Pass cards from SportsLine.com can be used to purchase a full season in any of, or any combination of, CBS SportsLine.com's individual basic fantasy games: football, baseball, basketball or hockey. These new specialty cards were announced recently and are available at Wal- Mart and other participating retail outlets.

GameBlast subscription cards from Shockwave.com can be used for 24 x 7 access to an exclusive online collection of more than 40 action, sports and puzzle games. Introduced in April 2003, the cards are available at Wal-Mart and other participating retail outlets.

Who Uses The Cards?
-- Consumers without credit cards or those reluctant to use credit cards
online
-- Online customers who don't want to commit to long-term subscriptions
services
-- Parents who want to provide children the ability to enjoy online
entertainment but limit it from a cost perspective
-- Tech-savvy teens who participate in online games, download (legally)
music and other online content.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19991018/ATT )


Source: AT&T

AT&T PrePaid Web Cents Technology Drives RealRhapsody Music at 7-Eleven Stores

Posted by Craig at February 4, 2004 09:31 PM