LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sprint Corp and Warner Music Group
on Wednesday announced a deal to offer a streaming music clip
subscription service on Sprint cell phones, underscoring the
growing trend of joint ventures between recording companies and
Under the agreement, Sprint customers can now download
ringtone and animated ringtone versions of songs, have an
artist announce incoming calls, or sample clips of new music
via the wireless streaming music clip subscription service on
Sprint PCS Vision phones.
Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.
Featured Warner Music artists under the deal include the
B-52s, Michelle Branch, Chicago, Deep Purple, Devo, Disturbed,
The Donnas, Lil’ Mo, Duncan Sheik and others.
Warner Music is a unit of AOL Time Warner and is home to
several Warner labels including Atlantic, Elektra, Warner
Bros., Maverick, Lava, Word and Rhino.
Options available on the enhanced Sprint nationwide PCS
network include celebrity voice ringers, animated ringtones and
screen savers and polyphonic ringtones, all available at
separate prices, starting at a $1 per feature.
A separate streaming service, which provides unlimited
music clips, is available for $3.99 for a 90-day subscription.
Reeling from a protracted sales decline following the
recording industry’s failure to capitalize on the Web before
unauthorized file-sharing services like now-defunct Napster
took hold, the world’s big labels are trying to avoid the same
fate in the wireless arena.
“As wireless technology advances, we’re moving aggressively
to establish new business models in the music space and to
provide our artists and labels with innovative ways to reach
music fans,” said Paul Vidich, executive vice president,
strategic planning and business development for Warner Music
Warner to date has also signed a wireless distribution deal
with AT&T Corp., a spokesman said.