Warner Music International (WMI) has entered a deal to sell realtones via T-Mobile International, the cell-phone arm of German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom.
Through the non-exclusive agreement, WMI will deliver more than 200 realtones — composed from original master recordings — featuring edits of songs by such Warner acts as R.E.M. and the Darkness. The deal initially covers T-Mobile’s 44 million customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria.
Realtones are available in Britain for £4 ($7.30) each. Availability dates in the other markets have yet to be finalized; prices will vary in each country. T-Mobile, which sells entertainment content via its t-zone channels, already has a similar contract with Warner Music Group in the United States.
The new deal includes the ability for fans to download to their cell phones a realtone version of “Last Drop,” the new single from British R&B act Kevin Lyttle, several days before its release to radio.
“This deal marks the first time a major record company has provided music lovers with a single prior to radio release,” says WMI chairman/CEO Paul-Rene Albertini. “This exclusivity reiterates the strength of our relationship with T-Mobile and the mobile-music market overall to WMI.”
Lyttle’s last U.K. hit, “Turn Me On,” will also be sold as a T-Mobile realtone.
T-Mobile also has agreements with Universal Music International’s Universal Mobile division and Sony Music Entertainment. “We’ve worked toward the goal of signing at least three majors by now because the idea is to cover a large part of the industry’s repertoire, and the majors have substantial rights coverage,” says Sabina Anger, T-Mobile’s VP of content and media alliances.