Warner Music Japan Acquires Stake in FrontMedia

06/06/06
WMJ invests in pioneering mobile broadcast company

6th June 2006, London: Warner Music Japan (WMJ) today announced it has acquired a minority stake in FrontMedia, a leading mobile broadcasting company and developer of cutting-edge wireless applications. Launched in 2005, FrontMedia operates a hybrid-broadcasting platform through a mobile website known as Marugoto Station on NTT Docomo, Vodafone and KDDI. It is the first hybrid radio and mobile broadcast service available in Japan. FrontMedia initiated the first full-length over-the-air music downloads on NTT Docomo and recently broadcast the first user-interactive mobile broadcast program on Click.TV, a free mobile TV broadcast site available on all three carriers in Japan.

Along with capital investment, WMJ will provide content for use in FrontMedia properties in return for the opportunity to leverage their ground-breaking mobile applications, including mobile broadcasting and video streaming on all three major mobile carriers and full track downloads via Docomo. In addition, WMJ and FrontMedia will undertake joint promotional initiatives as well as working together to develop new products and services in the mobile and multi-platform broadcast space.

Commented Lachie Rutherford, President, Warner Music Asia Pacific, "We're delighted to invest in FrontMedia, a company that shares our vision of constantly creating new and compelling ways for consumers to experience music content. Japan has one of the world's most advanced mobile music businesses, so to be working with such a dynamic and ambitious partner there is extremely exciting".

WMJ have been working successfully with FrontMedia since the end of 2005. In May, WMJ and FrontMedia cooperated to create the first live concert to be broadcast in real time across all three mobile networks in Japan with Ayaka, one of WMJ's leading new acts. This investment cements the relationship between leading entertainment content and innovative mobile distribution technologies in a market where wireless accounts for almost all digital music revenues. Mobile content makes up 90% of digital music revenues, an increase of 173% year on year according to figures published by RIAJ.This deal is the latest pioneering initiative in Asia Pacific to be announced by Warner Music International. Last month, WMI announced a joint venture with SK Telecom, Korea's foremost broadband and wireless provider. At the end of 2005, WMI also launched the first mobile content bundle with KDDI, a package of audio, video, graphic and textual products in a single, downloadable file.

About Warner Music International
Warner Music International (WMI) is Warner Music Group's global (ex-U.S.) recorded music division that markets and distributes WMG's world-class roster of U.S. and international recording artists through a network of affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. With a commitment to developing local talent as well as marketing international superstars, WMI leverages its expertise in each region around the world to attract and cultivate a diverse international artist roster. WMG is a pioneer in delivering music content in new and exciting ways, with a track record of 'firsts' in the digital space.

WMI's operations also include Warner Vision, which specializes in the marketing and distribution of WMI's video content; Warner Strategic Marketing, which focuses on promoting and marketing WMI's catalog content; and Warner Classics, WMI's classical music division.