Warner Inks Mobile-Phone Music Deal

Warner Music Group has signed a global licensing agreement with Melodeo Inc., marking the Seattle-based mobile music platform provider's first deal with a major label.

Warner Music Group has signed a global licensing agreement with Melodeo Inc., marking the Seattle-based mobile music platform provider's first deal with a major label.

The deal allows operators integrating the Melodeo over-the-air download service to offer their customers mobile-phone access to full-length tracks from WMG's catalog. Customers who download the required software to their mobile phones may browse, preview and purchase WMG titles, as well as store and play the tracks on their music-enabled mobile phones.

Melodeo's software supports the aacPlus codec, which the company says produces smaller music files optimized for wireless transmission. The solution includes a "power search" name-recognition capability, which allows users to search for artists or titles using fewer keypad strokes. It also has a music personalization feature that learns music preferences and provides appropriate recommendations. Other attributes include stereo capabilities, music-store connectivity, digital rights management protection and artist/label compensation functions.

Telefonica Moviles has announced that it will offer the Melodeo service to its customers in Spain, branded as "Mplay." In addition to WMG, Melodeo has a licensing deal with Spanish indie Vale Music.

Melodeo says several U.S. operators plan to introduce the service in 2005.

"With the global penetration of the wireless platform and the dramatic expansion of mobile phones' functionality, our agreement with Melodeo positions us to take advantage of a dramatic next step for consuming music," says Michael Nash, WMG senior VP of Internet strategy and business development.
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