O2 and Universal Music announce next stage in their strategic mobile partnership

From today, O2 will strengthen its position as a credible retailer of digital music by offering their customers tracks and a wide range of content from the world’s biggest acts – Keane, Snow Patrol and Razorlight. These will be available in the widest range of mobile music formats, as part of O2’s partnership with the world’s largest music company, Universal Music Group (UMG).   Building on a partnership started in 2003 when O2 launched Europe’s first ‘over the air’ music download service, the new deal now offers access to all Universal’s mobile products in one of O2’s most significant music licensing deals to date.   O2 customers will be able to choose from 100,000 tracks supplied by Universal from the world’s leading acts and buy them as either realtones; video tones, wallpapers, full-track audio downloads; full-length videos and video clips.   Russ Shaw, Marketing Director for O2 UK comments: “O2 already has a close relationship with Universal both through the full track downloads service and the significant ringtones business we have built together. This new deal between O2 UK and Universal is a strengthening of our existing strategic partnership, and will license us for a greater range of mobile products and new music services for consumers. Whilst we have always worked with Universal on an artist led basis, now we can offer all the content relevant to one artist in one place. The deal also provides us with a broad base on which to build the mobile music business together and be confident that we have the licenses in place to give us what we need.   “Universal brings a huge wealth of content, artists and expertise, and will be a key partner for O2 going forward, enabling us to make further strides towards becoming a fully fledged retailer of digital music. Universal is already a core partner for O2 Active and i-mode® – our mobile internet services – and they provide  two of the most popular services in the i-mode music category.” Rob Wells, Universal Music UK’s divisional director of new media, says: “This new relationship between Universal Music UK and O2 is significant on two counts. It builds on our existing fruitful relationship and provides our artists with additional exposure and revenue. I’m looking forward to maintaining our position as O2’s number one music partner.”