Scheduled to launch in May.
Universal Music Group plans to sell ringtones and other mobile music products via a new premium short-message service (SMS) starting next month.
Rio Caraeff VP/GM for Universal Music Mobile says the offering will allow consumers to use codes to buy ringtones from UMG acts. The service will later expand to include wallpapers and videos for mobile phones.
Billing will be handled by participating carriers including Cingular, Sprint and T-Mobile. UMG is still in talks with Verizon about support for the offering. A premium SMS offering gives UMG increased opportunities to market and sell mobile products outside the cell phone screen.
The move comes as a number of new text message based purchasing methods are emerging. Online payment specialist PayPal, a unit of Internet auction giant eBay, last week introduced PayPal Mobile, a wireless version of its service that allows users to buy goods and exchange money using their phones. UMG and MTV are among the companies supporting the technology.