Warner Music Group and MTV Networks Sign Landmark Global Agreement for Use of Music Videos in Original Mobile Content and Programming
Note to Editors: A conference call with principals regarding this
announcement will be held on Monday, September 26, 2005
3:30 pm GMT, 10:30 am ET, 7:30 am PT
Domestic Dial-in Number: 888-810-3140
International Dial-in Number: +1-210-234-0021
Passcode: WARNER MUSIC
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIA.B), and Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG) today announced an unprecedented global licensing agreement for the use of music videos from Warner Music Group's world-renowned record labels in original mobile programming developed by MTV Networks' leading music and entertainment brands.
Effective immediately across the globe, the agreement allows MTV Networks (MTVN) 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 & Rich and Mana.
This represents the first global agreement of its kind between a media company and music label that covers programming on mobile networks. Today, 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," said Judy McGrath, Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks. "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."
"This is a highly unique and exciting relationship, one that helps us realize 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," said Edgar Bronfman Jr., Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group. "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."
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 Espanol, 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 this Fall 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.
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group (WMG) became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Atlantic, Bad Boy, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world's leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA) (NYSE: VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms, with 111 channels, 94 Web sites reaching 167 countries and territories worldwide. MTV Networks owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, LOGO, Paramount Comedy Channel, TMF (The Music Factory), VIVA, Game One, Flux and a host of other digital channel brands worldwide, including a package of 13 digital services in the United States. All of these networks are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses as well as through more than 50 mobile video platforms worldwide and dozens of broadband and interactive television services. The company also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.