mobileAct Unsigned Contest Launches in the U.K.

Are we facing another British musical invasion? Not quite, but the upcoming “mobileAct Unsigned” local music marketing campaign was officially unveiled today in London, and there has been buzz by the organizers that this could introduce a new crop of thus undiscovered talent. But before you expect to hear the next Oasis or Manic Street Preachers, let’s take a second to think about this.

Already there is speculation that this isn’t so much about music, as it is about building the Sony Ericsson Walkman line of music phones before Apple’s iPhone invades Europe. With the iPhone on the horizon, it seems that wireless carrier Orange and Sony Ericsson are trying to build hype with the mobileAct Unsigned campaign, which is being launched with Britain’s Channel 4, which will televise 12 one-hour shows around the contest. The winner will be guaranteed an album deal with a major record label (could the label be BMG Sony… see below).

This isn’t the first contest either, as Sony Ericsson and Orange tried it last year in Switzerland, where Container 6 were awarded a contract with BMG Sony, and the Swiss will get to try again later this year along with other European nations to follow suit.

So where is the mobile component? Well, music fans can watch and participate by watching and downloading on their mobile phones, and Sony Ericsson and Orange no doubt hope the contest will drive interest in the Walkman line of music handsets.

[Via Business Week]