EMI, the music group being acquired by Warner, will tonight announce a link up with Genie, BT Cellnet's internet division, to provide music fans with up-to-date information on artists and releases.
The service, dubbed Glive, will enable consumers to dial up and listen to the latest news and gossip on stars, as well as to personalised messages from artists, and hear clips of their latest releases. This is the first step towards providing subscribers with downloadable tracks, which sources claim will come later this year when internet mobile phones are more widely available.
"There are still some issues to be sorted out re copyright, but we see it as a critical part of our Wap service to tie up with partners of the calibre of EMI," said a spokesperson for BT Cellnet.
Consumers will need to register for the service on the Genie internet site and choose one of four music channels, i.e. dance, pop, alternative or EMI stars, which will cover the likes of George Michael, The Spice Girls and David Bowie. They will then be sent an SMS message with a telephone number embedded in it to listen to the latest content.
The service is being pitched primarily at the youth market. "We understand it is heavy-use oriented so BT Cellnet Youth phone users will be charged 5p a minute; all other mobile phone users will be charged at a standard rate," explained BT Cellnet's spokesperson.
BT Cellnet has just signed up Dotmusic as another content provider for its WAP portal, and has confirmed it is in talks with other companies to provide consumer content.
Glive is a test-bed for EMI, which is talking to other mobile operators with a view to bringing a similar service to their WAP services, according to sources close to the company.
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