TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Cingular to Sell Ring Tones From MySpace Bands

Cingular to Sell Ring Tones From MySpace Bands

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Fri, 7 Apr 2006 19:22:38 -0500

Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. cellphone service, said on Thursday
it plans to sell ringtones from bands that put their music on, the social Web site that is popular among teenagers.

Cingular, a venture of AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp., said it hopes
the service will boost revenue, customer loyalty and help its image
among young people.

"One of our goals is to really appeal to and be relevant to younger
people ... It's a reason to stay with Cingular in a highly
competitive environment," said David Garver, a Cingular marketing
executive at the CTIA wireless show here.

Customers will be able to preview ringtones and buy them on the
MySpace Web site, which will then send them to their
cellphone. Cingular plans to charge about $2.50 for each 30 second
ringtone and will give the bands 25 percent of the proceeds.

The rest of the money will be split between Cingular and InfoSpace
Inc., which is helping to create and select the ringtones for

U.S. operators are putting everything from music to video on cellphone
networks in an effort to get customers to use their phones for more
than just talking.

Yankee Group analyst Andy Castonguay said Cingular will need to be
careful not to breach copyright laws as musicians may run afoul of
music labels if only a portion of their song sounds like a previous

But he said working with new bands was a "great opportunity for them."

Because MySpace, owned by News Corp., has about 56 million users it
has been eyed as a potential place to pick up young customers by
companies including Cingular, and Helio, a Korean-American venture
which is expected to set up a cellphone service for young people in
the next few months.


Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited.

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