Warner Music signs pact with Russian carrier

Warner Music International has licensed songs from its catalog of music by Madonna, Green Day and other artists to Russian mobile carrier VimpelCom Group, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the deal between the global arm of Warner Music Group and Moscow-based VimpelCom appeared to be the first of its kind to involve a major Western record label and a Russian mobile operator.

VimpelCom, which operated under the Beeline brand, boasted more than 50 million subscribers and provided mobile service in Russia and the neighboring nations of Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Georgia, the report said.

Beeline plans to launch a music portal later this month to sell ringtones, so-called master tones or snippets of master sound recordings, full-track song downloads and other content for customizing mobile phones.

Initially, however, only VimpelCom mobile customers in Russia would be able to purchase the Warner Music content, the report said.

As part of the deal, VimpelCom could exclusively market ringtones, video clips, full-track downloads and other content for five months, the report further said.