Universal Music Group International has sealed a landmark digital-distribution deal with Really Useful Group, the live-entertainment production company famous for its hit stage musicals by composer Si

Universal Music Group International has sealed a landmark digital-distribution deal with Really Useful Group, the live-entertainment production company famous for its hit stage musicals by composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

UMGI, which has sold more than 30 million physical units of singles and albums for RUG's musicals since 1970, has clinched the global rights to the online and mobile versions of RUG's entire catalog.

The move means consumers will soon be able to purchase full-track digital downloads and mast ringtones of songs from international hit musicals such as "Evita," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Cats," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Starlight Express" and "The Phantom of the Opera."

A CD recording of the current stage version of "Evita," at the Adelphi in the West End (London's Broadway), will be released Monday (Aug. 14). The digital version will also be available for online sale on the same day. The digitized versions of other RUG songs will be accessible from Aug. 22.

Also in the pipeline is UMGI's physical release of RUG's recording of "The Sound of Music," the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, which opens in November at the West End's Palladium theater.

The singer for the lead role of Maria Von Trapp, made famous in the Oscar-winning movie version by Julie Andrews, is currently being auditioned on a reality-TV talent show called "How Do Solve A Problem Like Maria" on U.K. public broadcast network BBC 1.

"This deal brings the biggest and best-loved musicals of all time into the digital age," said Lucian Grainge, UMGI's chairman. "I have also been reminded of Andrew's magic touch - his idea to bring 'The Sound of Music' to the West End via a TV talent search is a masterstroke."