Warner Inks Two New Mobile Content Deals

    February 14, 2007

Earlier today, Warner Music Group disclosed that it had reached new agreements with two leading mobile operators to distribute mobile music content throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The first agreement is with Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, which services countries including Algeria, Bangladesh, Italy, Pakistan, Tunisia and Egypt. Through this pact, Warner will be able to deliver mobile products such as ring tones and full-track downloads to these new areas.

Warner also announced that it would work with Norwegian telecommunications group Telenor to offer its content through nine of Telenor’s thirteen mobile operators throughout Norway, Sweden, Ukraine, Hungary and the other nations within its purview.

According to a Warner spokesman, these new agreements will enable Warner’s content to be delivered to nearly 60 million Orascom subscribers. Similarly, Telenor boasts a total mobile customer base of 105 million.

"(Orascom’s) scale, ambition and commitment to promoting legitimate, pan-regional mobile music services make them the ideal partner for us as we develop our presence in the Middle East and North Africa," Warner’s chairman and CEO, Edgar Bronfman Jr., said in a statement.

The label has also made similar agreements with mobile companies serving customers in Japan, South Korea, Russia, China and Latin America.

Warner has been an industry leader in forging new deals with content providers in order to make the label’s content available through a variety of different platforms. Back in October, the company was the first in the music realm to sign a content agreement with YouTube.

For a company so clearly focused on embracing new markets and technology, it’s mind-boggling to believe that Warner is still so blindingly adamant in its stance on other controversial topics, namely digital rights management.

Nonetheless, moves like this show that there are at least some forward-thinking people at the label. Hopefully, that mentality will begin to pervade the rest of its policies and pursuits.

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