Thumbplay News


NEW YORK (April 24, 2006) - Thumbplay, Inc., the leader in providing direct-to-consumer mobile entertainment services, today announced an agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's leading music company, to distribute content from UMG's global family of artists. The partnership will provide Universal Music Group direct access to Thumbplay's growing community of consumers who subscribe to receive mobile content online.

Under the terms of the agreement, Thumbplay will offer the full UMG catalog of Music tones from artists such as Eminem, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Sheryl Crow, 50 Cent, Jack Johnson, Gwen Stefani, blink-182 and The Killers. Thumbplay expects Music tones from UMG artists, as well as wallpaper images and video tones to drive artist-centric mobile promotions.

"Thumbplay is building the best online and mobile consumer experience, and Universal Music Group will allow us to provide consumers with the best mobile content available anywhere," said Are Traasdahl, founder and CEO of Thumbplay and mobile content pioneer who helped establish the first company in the world to sell ringtones. "We are thrilled to provide our members with such a deep and diverse catalog of artists."

"The direct-to-consumer experience represents a powerful merchandising channel for us to generate awareness for new releases and new revenue," said Rio Caraeff, vice president & general manager of Universal Music Mobile (UMM-US). "Thumbplay is a leader in the direct-to-consumer market and we want Universal Music artists to be there as that segment continues to grow."

Currently, the direct-to-consumer business represents close to 80 percent of all mobile content transactions in Europe. "Each month, we see more mobile entertainment sales shifting to off-portal services that emphasize community across carrier networks" said Seamus McAteer, senior analyst and chief product architect, M:Metrics, a firm researching consumer consumption of mobile content and applications. "For example in the quarter ended February almost 20% of those that purchased ring-tones did so using venues other than their handset or operator's Web site. As consumers become more comfortable with personalizing their mobile devices, we expect direct-to-consumer services to see real growth."

With its own direct-to-consumer model, Thumbplay can target diverse communities of consumers and create strong partnerships with major online brands and content providers.
Traasdahl continued: "Selling content to U.S. consumers will trend in the same direction, becoming a multi-billion dollar market over the next few years."

In June, 2005, launched its mobile entertainment portal. includes an innovative, easy-to-use "two click" approach to buying mobile content that provides consumers the best way to search, browse, select, share and download a variety of mobile content, including, ringtones, images, games and text-based services.

About Thumbplay
Thumbplay, Inc. is a leading provider of mobile entertainment services to consumers. The company aggregates, promotes and delivers mobile content directly to members from The site offers ringtones, wallpapers, games and text-based services through a membership-based, community experience. Thumbplay, headquartered in New York, is backed by leading venture capital firms, including SoftBank Capital, i-hatch Ventures and Redwood Partners. For more information, visit

About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group is the world's largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 75 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry's largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Music Group, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Records Group, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division, and Universal Music Mobile.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company

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