Group’s iconic masters are realtones through Universal Music Mobile

LONDON and STOCKHOLM, April 17, 2006 – The global hits of one of the most popular groups in recorded music history are going mobile for the first time.

From today, the original hits of ABBA are available as realtones for mobile phones, as the result of approval newly given by the Swedish supergroup’s songwriters, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. ABBA’s recordings have sold an estimated 370 million units worldwide.

Among the ABBA anthems cleared for mobile are “Ring Ring,” “Mamma Mia,” “SOS,” “Dancing Queen” and “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight).” A realtone is an excerpt of the actual master recording, rather than a synthesised ringtone, used to personalise a mobile phone.

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus were personally involved in the selection of the realtones, working with executives at Universal Music Mobile and Universal Music Sweden. The realtones are being marketed to consumers worldwide through Universal Music Mobile and its telecom partners, including Vodafone, SFR, Orange, T-Mobile, DoCoMo, KDDI and more than 60 other operators worldwide.

Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive of Universal Music Group International, commented, “Today’s consumers demand their music in many different forms, so the first-time availability of original ABBA recordings as realtones means that millions of music fans worldwide can enjoy these iconic hits as never before.”

Mårten Aglander, Managing Director of Universal Music Sweden, said, “ABBA have always been very thorough in every new area they have entered, and as a result, they always come out on top – from recordings to concerts, from DVDs to musicals. Now it’s great to have their involvement in, and devotion to, this latest enterprise: distribution of their music through mobile phones.”

The newly available ABBA realtones, in addition to the titles listed above, include “Waterloo,” “Super Trouper,” “Money, Money, Money,” “Fernando,” “Knowing Me, Knowing You,” “Voulez-Vous,” “Does Your Mother Know,” “Honey Honey,” “Take A Chance On Me,” “I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do,” and “Thank You For The Music.”

ABBA’s hits collection, Gold, stands as one of the most popular albums in music history, with global sales of more than 23 million copies. The group’s extensive catalogue continues to sell as CDs, DVDs and digital downloads, helped by the worldwide success of “Mamma Mia!” Trade publication Billboard recently reported that revenues at Sweden’s performing rights organisation were boosted by the popularity of the musical and the use of a sample from “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” in Madonna’s worldwide hit, “Hung Up.”