HITS Daily Double


Nokia To Use EMI Catalog For Custom Downloadable Ring Tones
What comes around goes around.

EMI Music Publishing has inked an agreement with cell phone giant Nokia that will provide songs from the EMI catalog to be used as custom downloadable ring tones for Nokia phones.

Members of Nokia's "Club Nokia" who are bored with the standard ring tones on their mobile phones can download songs, as well as TV and film themes from the Nokia Web site. EMI did not specify which songs from its catalog might be made available, but the catalog includes heavyweight artists such as Sting, Phil Collins, Aerosmith, Spice Girls and Janet Jackson.

If this story sounds at least 66% familiar, it's because just two weeks ago EMI dropped the legal hammer on Global Music One, who had been allowing cell phone users who visited its Yourmobile.com Web site to download songs (hitsdailydouble, 8/16). Some of those songs were from the EMI catalog and weren't exactly being distributed with EMI's permission.

According to Nokia's VP of Mobile Applications and Services Ilkka Raiskinen, whose name scores over 79 points in Scrabble, "Nokia invented the concept of downloadable ring tones and we have seen how enormously popular these have become around the world." Raiskinen then added, "The large selection of tunes will allow people to stand out with their own set of personalized songs, which will be unique and tailor-made for every occasion, mood and lifestyle. And did I mention, these are legally obtained downloads, not like some companies I could name."

"This new venture with Nokia, the leading innovator in its field," said Jonathan Channon, EMI's director of film, TV and media, almost totally from memory, "is more than just a kickass way to get back at Global Music One. It also continues our strategy to expand our business by embracing new technology through business relationships in the new media arena."

The announcement from the companies made a sideways reference to the EMI-Global Music One run-in by terming the Nokia-EMI deal "the legitimate use of music on mobile phone applications."