(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Warner Music Group (WMG) has entered into an unique partnership with wireless entertainment and marketing company Mobileway to become the first major music company in the U.S. to incorporate wireless branding into its CD packaging.
Using five digit codes — known as short-codes — that will be featured on CD packages, album posters, artist web sites and online banner ads, consumers in the U.S. will be able to directly access ringtones from WMG artists in one simple step from their mobile phones. Additional content such as screensavers and wallpaper from WMG's world-renowned record labels, including Atlantic, Lava and Warner Music Latina, will be made available by short-code later this year.
"Working with Mobileway allows us to use the fast-growing mobile music market as another way to promote our music," said Michael Nash, senior vice president, Internet Strategy and Business Development at WMG. "With the growing popularity of mobile ringtones, integrated short-codes are a natural extension of our marketing efforts."
"By progressively embracing cross-carrier, premium SMS wireless music services, Warner Music Group now allows music fans in North America to connect with their favorite artists whenever and wherever they want to," said Scott Hannan, general manager of Mobileway North America. "With years of experience delivering innovative wireless campaigns around the world, Mobileway is well-equipped to help Warner Music revolutionize the way in which music is delivered and marketed in the United States."
Short-codes provide fans with a fast and easy way to access music simply by sending a wireless text message to the short-code found on a CD package, web site or advertisement. Fans send a text message identifying a specific track number and download the corresponding ringtone via Mobileway's cross-carrier infrastructure.
Charges for downloads appear on the customer's wireless bill as opposed to a credit card, helping WMG serve the crucial teen market. Online banner ads will also inform music fans about the new service. The service costs $1.99 for each polyphonic or monophonic ringtone and $2.49 per music tone and voice tone download.
In May, Atlantic and Lava launched the first music label site selling ringtones from artists including matchbox twenty, Simple Plan, Twista, Brandy, Jet, Jason Mraz and T.I. The inaugural on-pack promotion will be the Surfdog Records release of Brian Setzer Orchestra's new album, "The Ultimate Collection." Other artists, such as Sean Paul and The Darkness, are expected to release content directly to consumers wirelessly later this year. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen