SOURCE: Virgin Records

August 30, 2005 09:00 ET

Gorillaz Give Virgin Mobile Customers Something to Feel Good About

Virgin Mobile USA and EMI Music's Virgin Records Offer Exclusive Content From Gorillaz Sophomore Disc, "Demon Days"

WARREN, NJ and NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2005 -- Virgin Mobile USA and EMI Music's Virgin Records today announced that animated ringtones, real-music ringtones and wallpapers from the Gorillaz platinum album, "Demon Days," will be available exclusively on Virgin Mobile phones in the U.S. through its First Dibs program. The deal gives Virgin Mobile customers a way to stay connected to music's one-and-only cartoon super group right on their mobile phones.

Through September 30, 2005, only Virgin Mobile customers can download Superphonic (a.k.a., real music) ringtones based on tracks from "Demon Days," including "DARE," "Every Planet We Reach Is Dead," "Don't Get Lost in Heaven," and "White Light." Those who download "DARE" and "19-2000" ringtones are also in for a special treat. A portion of the video from these tracks will play whenever their phones ring -- marking the first time the Gorillaz have ever offered an animated ringtone worldwide. Finally, this just wouldn't be a complete Gorillaz wireless offer without wallpapers. Each band member's signature graphic is also available for download on Virgin Mobile phones.

Also available for purchase are non-exclusive ringtone tracks from Gorillaz, including the #1 modern rock radio hit "Feel Good Inc." -- which recently won two MTV Video Music Awards, one for "Breakthrough Video" and another for "Best Special Effects in a Video." Viewers of the MTV Video Music Awards also saw Virgin Mobile's new TV ads supporting this latest "First Dibs" offer.

"The return of the mythic foursome has been hotly anticipated by music fans around the globe," said Howard Handler, chief marketing officer of Virgin Mobile USA. "We're psyched to score First Dibs for our customers on Gorillaz content, and to continue our collaboration with EMI Music."

"Gorillaz is a unique act, and certainly one of the most creative and mysterious forces in music today," said Thomas Ryan, senior vice president, Mobile and Digital Development, EMI Music North America. "As Murdoc, 2D, Russel and Noodles unfold the latest chapter in their thrilling saga, Virgin Mobile customers can tap into First Dibs to experience the band's journey first-hand."

"The Gorillaz' unique music and vision are ideal for innovations in mobile music. This collaboration with Virgin Mobile is a natural and we look forward to mutual success spreading the music of Gorillaz across traditional and new mediums," said Syd Schwartz, vice president of interactive marketing for Virgin Records.

Easy Access

Virgin Mobile customers can access the Gorillaz content in two easy ways: either through their wireless handsets or online at www.virginmobileusa.com.

To access the ringtones via their wireless handsets, customers simply go into the phone's menu and select either "VirginXtras" or "VirginXL" (depending on their phone model). Once in the content menu, they select #1 for Ringtones. They then select the "First Dibs" option to scan the Gorillaz offerings.

To access the ringtones from the Virgin Mobile Web site, customers simply go to www.virginmobileusa.com and click on either the "VirginXtras" or "VirginXL" links at the top of the page. They then click on a picture of their wireless handset, to be taken to a list of all of the mobile content available for that phone. At the top of the content page, they click "Ringtones" and then "First Dibs" to see the list of exclusives for Gorillaz.

The real-music ringtones are already available. Animated ringtones for "DARE" and "19-2000" will follow in the next week.

"First Dibs" on Hot Tracks

Virgin Mobile users can already choose from thousands of downloadable ringtones from dozens of different genres. Its ongoing "First Dibs" program -- launched in June 2004 -- was the first to score exclusive access to fresh new Superphonic ringtones from major recording artists. Superphonic ringtones offer a true audio clip of an original recording, voice or sound just like you'd hear on a radio or digital music player.

About Virgin Mobile USA, LLC:

Launched nationally in July of 2002, Virgin Mobile USA, LLC is the nation's first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and first wireless carrier exclusively focused on the youth market. Virgin Mobile is a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Sprint. In just two-and-one-half years, more than three million wireless users have rejected long-term contracts and taken control of their wireless spending with Virgin Mobile's Pay As You Go service. Virgin Mobile customers have exclusive access to VirginXtras and VirginXL -- a suite of music, entertainment and fun lifestyle features, including *MTV mobile content created by our strategic partner MTV: Music Television. In addition, J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Virgin Mobile for providing "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience" under its Certified Call Center Program(SM).

Phones are available at more than 20,000 locations nationwide with Top-Up cards available at more than 60,000 locations nationwide. Virgin Mobile products can also be purchased online at www.virginmobileusa.com or by calling 888-322-1122.

About EMI Music:

EMI is the world's largest independent music company, operating directly in 50 countries. Its EMI Music division represents more than 1,000 artists spanning all musical tastes and genres. Its record labels include Angel, Astralwerks, Blue Note, Capitol, EMI Records, EMI Classics, EMI CMG, EMI Televisa Music, Manhattan, Mute, Virgin and Parlophone.

About Virgin Records:

Virgin Records is a division of EMI Music, the world's largest independent record company. Among the artists on the Virgin roster are Bubba Sparxxx, Jermaine Dupri, Ben Harper, Janet Jackson, Lenny Kravitz, and The Rolling Stones. Virgin's U.S. headquarters are located in New York.

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