MTV and Warner Music Group ink mobile content deal

MUMBAI: MTV Networks today announced a global licensing agreement for the use of music videos from Warner Music Group's record labels in original mobile programming developed by MTV Networks' music and entertainment brands.



Effective immediately across the globe, the agreement allows MTV Networks to create and distribute new short-form video content for mobile devices that contains audiovisual excerpts from Warner Music Group's music video catalog of emerging stars and legendary artists, including Sean Paul, Twista, Green Day, Big and Rich and Maná.



This represents the first global agreement of its kind between a media company and music label that covers programming on mobile networks. MTV Networks is the only media company to which WMG has licensed its global music video roster to create original programming for the wireless space.

"Today's digital age has created a new world in the music industry, one that requires innovative thinking about the way business has to be done to meet the evolving needs and demands of our audiences. I want to thank Warner Music for pioneering change in the industry, and in so doing, providing us both with a way to bring more music to more fans across the globe. This is a great leap forward in the evolution of our mobile video strategy, and we look forward to developing more exciting initiatives in this space over the year to come," said MTV Networks chairman and CEO Judy McGrath.

"This is a highly unique and exciting relationship, one that helps us realise the full potential of our music video assets while giving Warner Music's emerging and established artists new platforms for reaching more of their fans on a global scale. MTV Networks' fantastic programming expertise, its roster of world famous music and entertainment brands and its important demographics in the wireless space make them an ideal partner for taking the mobile entertainment experience to the next level and helping more of our audiences connect with the music they love," said Warner Music Group chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Answering's query from the conference in the US, as to how the two companies were going to leverage this deal as far as India was concerned keeping in mind the fact that 3G technology is yet to hit Indian shores; MTV Networks vice chairman and MTV Networks International president Bill Roedy said, "This deal is unique because it is the first of its kind long term partnership with Warner Music. We will not only be providing music videos but mobile content. Also, new content will be created as this technology evolves. We are very excited about India. Yes, it's true that 3G technology has not yet arrived in India but it won't be long before that happens. We already have a content team based in India which will be working closely with Warner to develop the mobile content. The number of mobile users in India are increasing by leaps and bounds and that is a great thing."

Answering another media query, McGrath said that their focus markets for mobile content were Europe and Asia and that they already had 30 mobile deals in Europe itself. In Asia, MTV has a deal with China Mobile and also with a couple of major carriers in Japan.

Original mobile video content and programming developed by MTV Networks and featuring music video content from WMG will be available for mobile devices globally via streamed and downloaded video on-demand formats across the company's brands and wireless sub-brands, including MTV, MTV2, MTV Espa?ol, mtvU, VH1, CMT and Logo as well as its international brands VIVA, TMF (The Music Factory) and Flux. How consumers purchase the content is determined by the carrier in each market and can include both subscription and a la carte pricing.

Content will include short mobile programming derived from popular cable network shows, such as VH1's Driven and You Oughta Know, CMT's CMT Insider and Studio 330, as well as made-for-mobile content from MTV Networks' broadband programming such as Box Set on VH1's VSpot.

Outside the US, this deal opens the door to showcasing Warner Music artists via MTV Networks International's mobile video distribution deals, which account for more than two-thirds of the world's video-enabled handsets via networks that reach 400 million subscribers across Europe, Asia and Latin America. In total, MTV Networks International's brands are available to 670 million mobile subscribers outside the US.

New programming for international mobile audiences will include Spotlight -- an original mobile video package franchise launching soon within international mobile television and on-demand video services. The video packages will feature specific artists reflecting on their careers, their music and upcoming activities. The first packages will feature Warner Music artists, including Sean Paul, Daniel Powter and David Gray.



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