VoIP provider Skype has announced agreements for worldwide distribution rights to license potentially hundreds of thousands of musical works as ring-tones.
The agreements are with three major music publishing companies - EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Warner Chappell Music - and the UK's collecting society for author and publisher rights, the MCPS-PRS Alliance.
The new licences will allow Skype to distribute master ring-tones from recording artists affiliated to Warner Music Group, which can now be downloaded as ring-tones to Skype users in the US, the UK, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Poland.
Worldwide rights for the rest of Skype's more than 94.6 million registered users will be signed within weeks, according to the firm.
The publishing licences and addition of licensed music content coincide with other changes to the Personalise Skype store, including a more simplified user interface and a more visual presentation.
Madonna is the first artist to headline the Featured Artist section of Personalise Skype, which now features ring-tones for Push, Sorry, Confessions on a Dance Floor, Like A Virgin, Vogue and more.
In the coming months, consumers will be able to download master ring-tones from Warner Music Group artists including Depeche Mode, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Sean Paul for play back when Skype users receive incoming calls.
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