Vodafone seals Sony music content tie

Vodafone is increasing its commitment to music by securing a deal with record label Sony BMG to offer customers exclusive content.

An exclusive version of Groove Armada's latest album will be preloaded onto Nokia N76 handsets on the mobile network. Consumers will also be able to download the album free from a website built by TuneTribe Digital Solutions.

Dominic Chambers, head of brand and marketing communications at Vodafone, said exclusive content is a key marketing tool. 'We are talking to record labels about more hybrid co-promotional deals to give us more control than a traditional sponsorship or partnership deals.'

In addition to the content deal, Vodafone is looking to exploit its Vodafone Live! Music Awards across Europe and bolster its profile, making it more akin to the MTV Music Awards.

The event, which is held in September and broadcast in the UK by Channel 4, features several artists from Vodafone's one-off 'TBA' gigs, which have included Girls Aloud and My Chemical Romance. Awards categories include Best Live Act, Tour of the Year and Festival Performance of the Year.

Vodafone embarked on its music-focused strategy in March last year; the creation of its own content to be leveraged across platforms is a key part of its marketing.

The activity has been overseen by Octagon and OMD Fuse, with initial, a division of Endemol, producing the TV show.

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