NTT DoCoMo's "MARUGOTO STATION" top page
NTT DoCoMo's "MARUGOTO STATION" top page
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Nippon Cultural Broadcasting Inc. (NCB) and Frontmedia Inc. have formed the "Keitai (mobile phone), Radio Hybrid Broadcast Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)" with the aim of co-producing programs for on-demand distribution to mobile phones and radio broadcast. Programs produced by this LLP are aired as NCB's 30-minute terrestrial program called "MARUGOTO STATION," while Frontmedia distributes them free of charge at NTT DoCoMo, Inc.'s official site, which is also named "MARUGOTO STATION" (starting on December 5). The companies dubbed the free distribution of radio programs "Downloadable Broadcast," and this service offering the same programs through mobile phones and the radio "Hybrid Broadcast." Compatible handsets are every product of the FOMA 900 and 901 series. All tunes aired in the programs are downloadable for ¥315 per title.

The programs are broadcasted from 9:00 to 9:30 on Tuesdays. A 30-minute frame contains multiple 5-minute programs. In the mobile phone distribution service, these 5-minute programs are distributed one by one in paralel with the broadcasting on the radio. Listeners can download the same programs to mobile phones for a week until the next week's programs start. Once the programs are downloaded, listeners can enjoy them until they are automatically erased three days later. According to the companies, the employment of a technology that limits the period, during which listeners can enjoy the programs, greatly helped them acquire permission from major music labels to use master recordings, and allowed the music-oriented program distribution service for mobile phones.

After demonstrating playback/fast forwarding of a downloaded program, an NBC spokesperson commented: "Honestly speaking, we just hoped our listeners would not fast forward the programs in that way." Then he added, "There have only been stations that made broken-hearted young girls wait for their programs until midnight. We are no longer one of them," showing his expectation for the new media.

Masaharu Tanaka, Nikkei Electronics