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Buy Music On Your Cell Phone? Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 October 2002
Cell phones have come a long way. First it was text messaging, then came Internet access, color screens and built in cameras. AT&T Wireless and Warner Music Group (WMG), a division of AOL Time Warner, have announced the next step in the evolution of hand help communications devices. In the first music marketing deal of its kind, WMG and AT&T Wireless have signed a non-exclusive agreement which will allow AT&T Wireless' nearly 20 million subscribers to have access to music clips, artist news, tour dates and artist images. Users can also purchase ring tones from a constantly updated catalog of songs from WMG artists for between $0.99 and $1.99 each. Amazon.com has also signed on to allow users to purchase WMG artist’s CDs directly from their phones.

Dubbed the "Warner Music" channel, customers in the U.S. can access content from WMG’s roster of music labels including Atlantic, Elektra, Warner Bros., Maverick, Lava and Rhino Records. Customers can enter the mobile channel by dialing "#121" from their handset and use voice commands to navigate the system. This announcement comes on the heels of AT&T Wireless’ agreement to provide Yahoo Messenger mobile messaging as well as a partnership with Japan's Sega Corp. to offer games such as Monkey Ball and Soccer Slam on their phones.

With the music industry seeing slumping CD sales and AT&T Wireless’ stock chart looking like a black diamond ski run course, this creative marketing move is a step in the right direction away from the “kill Napster and all other new technologies” crusade that the RIAA has been leading on behalf of all the major record labels. Much like a free MP3 you can listen to over your phone, perhaps hearing an audio clip of the latest Green Day or Madonna tune might motivate you to purchase their new album directly from your cell phone.

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