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Record Label Hopes to Sell Phone Service

According to the New York Times -- "A major record label, the Universal Music Group, said on Friday that it had entered into a strategic alliance to sell a music-oriented cellphone service. The phones will include features that make it easier to download snippets of songs, and, eventually entire songs, according to the Universal Music Group's strategic partner, Single Touch Interactive, which works with companies to develop and package branded phone service. Universal Music, a unit of Vivendi Universal, becomes the latest to get into the affinity phone business, joining the likes of ESPN and Walt Disney in trying to carve out a niche of customers by selling phones that focus on providing specific content. The companies buy mobile minutes wholesale from a major national carrier, like Sprint or Cingular, and then resell that as prepaid time to their own customers. In the case of Universal Music, the company will not be operating the service, but plans to provide content to Single Touch, and to share in the revenue from minutes sold."

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