Skype, the global Internet communications company, today announced license agreements for worldwide distribution rights to potentially hundreds of thousands of musical works as ringtones for Skype. The agreements are with three major music publishing companies – EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Warner/Chappell Music – and the UK’s collecting society for author/publisher rights, the MCPS-PRS Alliance. The new licenses will allow Skype to lawfully distribute master tones from the roster of current partner Warner Music Group (NYSE: WMG). World-renowned recording artists from Warner Music Group can now be downloaded as ringtones to Skype users in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Poland and within weeks to the rest of Skype’s more than 94.6 million registered users worldwide. This publishing alliance will also pave the way for agreements with additional music recording companies.
The publishing licenses and addition of licensed music content also coincide with other changes to the Personalise Skype store, including a more simplified user interface and a more visual presentation. Personalise Skype hosts all of Skype’s digital content, including the new Featured Artist section – a section of the store exclusively dedicated to ringtones from one artist, rotated on a monthly basis.
Madonna, now featured on the site, is the first artist to headline the Featured Artist section of Personalise Skype. Located at personal.skype.com, Personalise Skype now features ringtones such as “Push” and “Sorry” the new single from Madonna’s latest multi-platinum album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, as well as past Madonna hits “Like A Virgin,” “Vogue” and more. Planned future featured artists include Green Day and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“Skype’s collaboration with publishing powerhouses EMI, Sony/ATV and Warner/Chappell, and with the collecting society the MCPS-PRS Alliance, gives us the foundation we need to offer great ringtone content from today’s hottest artists to Skype’s fast growing global user base,” said Saul Klein, vice president of global marketing for Skype. “The Personalise Skype store is one more way that we are making Internet calling fun.”
In the coming months, consumers will be able to download master ringtones from WMG artists including Madonna, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sean Paul and many more to Skype for play back when Skype users receive incoming calls.