We typically don’t associate SMS and music distribution, but that’s exactly what Music2Text aims to do: use the most universal mobile phone communications building block (after voice) to sell and share music. The whole system is based on something very simple: each song can be identified with a “shortcode”. A shortcode is a special number like #7415 that is usually used by carriers to send settings to your phone.
In this case the shortcode will be used to connect to a music store and retrieve a track as a download, just like you would download a ringtone in the old days. Users can SMS shortcodes to their friends if they want to share a pointer to a track. It is also fair to assume that performers and bands will also be able to send an SMS to their fans when their latest production comes out.
The pricing for the songs will vary, but in the U.K many sell for 1 UKP. The business model is simple: the label/artist/seller needs to pay a fixed fee of 20UKP (about $35) to have the right to sell a track on the service. From there, all the proceeds go to the seller, so breaking even should be fairly easy.
Music2Text is a pretty interesting idea because despite the fact that one day all phones will be smartphones, we still have billions of handsets that are rather plain and relatively low-tech. Also, many smartphone owners may simply prefer using an SMS service rather than create an account on a music store. Because the price is low to get started, this is also a new channel for upcoming artists. We haven’t tried it, but if you did, leave a comment.