Universal Music Group and MTV Networks have entered into a wide-reaching licensing deal for mobile video content, sources familiar with the situation revealed Monday (Sept. 11) at the Billboard MECCA

Universal Music Group (UMG) and MTV Networks have entered into a wide-reaching licensing deal for mobile video content, sources familiar with the situation revealed Monday (Sept. 11) at the Billboard MECCA conference in Los Angeles.

Under the agreement -- expected to be announced as early as Tuesday (Sept. 12) -- MTV Networks gains access to full videos from UMG artists, as well as live performances of UMG acts on MTV shows, for use in its streaming and downloadable video-on-demand services.

In addition, MTV Networks will be able to create original made-for-mobile programming featuring UMG content that it can distribute across a la carte and subscription services from all carriers, including bundled subscription services like Verizon's V-Cast.

All wireless video consumers in the U.S. who receive MTVN music branded services will be able to access this content. The deal covers all MTV Networks brands and wireless sub-brands, including MTV, MTV2, MTV Espanol, mtvU, VH1, CMT and LOGO.

UMG content can also be included in original mobile programming for shows, including MTV's "TRL" and "Laguna Beach," VH1's "Hogan Knows Best," and CMT's "CMT Insider."


In other news from MECCA:


--In a theatrical, opening MECCA keynote, Paul Reddick, VP of business development and product innovation for Sprint, arrived dressed as the title character from the movie "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," and tossed loaves of Wonder Bread into the crowd.

Sprint has been a leading sponsor of the Sony Pictures release and has featured the film's star Will Ferrell in its commercials. Reddick used the address to urge entertainment industry to take a fresh approach to offering content over mobile, be it in areas like mobile TV or in its recently launched full-length movie download service.

Reddick said that a lack of rights licensing standards is emerging a leading bottleneck in the development of the wireless entertainment industry. He also said that with more than 5 million downloads sold through its Sprint Music Store in its first year, the company has established that consumers will pay a premium rate ($2.50 per track) for over-the-air downloads. "We're past the experimental phase of getting people to buy," he said.


--Nellymoser and Muze are promoting a one-stop technology and content solution to media companies and other brand marketers looking to get into wireless commerce.

Under the alliance, the companies will jointly market Nellymoser's mobile technology platform and Muze's metadata and multimedia catalog. Muze's platform includes more than 2 million licensed tracks from major and independent music labels in North America, more than 5 million licensed streaming music samples and more than 40,000 movie trailers.

The companies said in a statement that they have entered into the agreement based on the premise that as more consumers look to their mobile phones for compelling entertainment like games, music or video, content owners are looking for one solution that allows them to rapidly enter the market.


--In a keynote Q&A, Ray Manzarek of The Doors and manager Jeff Jampol told Billboard executive editor/associate publisher Tamara Conniff that the legendary act is teaming with WMG's Rhino Entertainment on an ambitious mobile marketing campaign in the U.S. this fall.

In support of a new Rhino boxed set, "Perceptions," due in November, the label is running an ad campaign for Doors ringtones that will air on cable TV and online later this month. The commercials -- a rare ringtone TV marketing campaign from a major label -- will be 15 and 30 seconds in length and run for two weeks, starting the third week of September.

The online advertising component, which has been designed with hopes of spurring viral video sharing of the clip, will run for six weeks beginning Sept. 18. Rhino is selling the ringtones through a new premium SMS service called RhinoTones. Consumers buy the ringtones by sending numbered "short code" messages to Rhino.

In addition to the ringtones, mobile carriers will be offered unreleased live tracks, Jampol said. The band is also looking ahead to a Doors' 40th anniversary video boxed set, due in November 2007. Jambol said the band and Rhino are developing a number of special Webisodes and windowed, mobile-only content releases.


--Gracenote is licensing its music identification and playlist technology to Samsung for use in its Samsung Mobile PC software. The handset manufacturer is hoping its consumers will use the software to manage their PC-based music collections and transfer tracks to Samsung mobile phones. The software is available to Samsung consumers in Europe that own select devices including the SGH-E500.

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