VODAFONE AND UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP INTERNATIONAL SIGN STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP
LONDON, November 14, 2005 – A strategic alliance between the world’s largest music company, Universal Music Group (UMG), and the world’s largest mobile telecommunications network company, Vodafone, has been forged to deliver unparalleled content and entertainment innovation to Vodafone live! customers.
The agreement, announced today, will see the introduction of a broad range of products and services featuring such market-leading stars as Eminem, U2, Black Eyed Peas, Kaiser Chiefs, 50 Cent, Keane, Rammstein, and Scissor Sisters. The new partnership between Vodafone and UMG’s Universal Music Group International (UMGI) division represents the world’s most extensive offering of music for mobile, including:
Realtones and ringback tones
Full-track audio downloads
Full-track video downloads
Content from this deal is already available on Vodafone live! today, and it is expected that over 100,000 full-track audio downloads will be available within a matter of weeks, boosting the overall catalogue to over 600,000 tracks.
The products and services associated with the long-term agreement are designed to meet accelerating, global consumer demand for entertainment content on Vodafone’s networks. The agreement also creates significant growth opportunities for both companies via innovative offerings in music and related areas in the future.
Lucian Grainge, Chairman/CEO of Universal Music Group International, commented, “This agreement sets new standards in scale, reach and imagination within our respective industries. Both companies are committed as never before to provide new entertainment services for the benefit of consumers, using 3G to harness the power and potential of new technology. I could not be more excited at the prospect.”
Guy Laurence, Global Terminal and Consumer Marketing Director at Vodafone, said “Universal Music is the world’s largest music company and this strategic union significantly enhances the scope of our mobile music offering. As adoption of music content continues to increase, we know that our consumers are going to enjoy the benefit of being able to tap into such an incredible catalogue.
As with all content agreements, Vodafone deploys industry-leading Digital Rights Management to ensure the full protection of the content and the rights of the artists signed to UMG companies around the world.
Vodafone is the world’s leading mobile telecommunications group with operations in 27 countries across 5 continents with over 165 million proportionate customers worldwide as at 30 June 2005 as well as 14 partner networks. For further information, please visit www.vodafone.com.
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world’s largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations. Universal Music Group International is the division that manages UMG’s businesses in countries outside of North America.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Music Group, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.