SOURCE: Vringo

July 10, 2007 07:00 ET

Vringo and Universal Music Group Sign Trial Licensing Agreement to Deliver Video Ringtones

In a New Take on the Next-Gen Ringtone -- the Video Ringtone -- Video Is Sent by Caller to the Person Called and Shared With Friends, Fellow Fans, Others

JERUSALEM and LONDON--(Marketwire - July 10, 2007) - Vringo, the pioneer in video ringtone sharing, announced today that it had entered into a trial licensing agreement with Universal Music Group (UMG), the world's largest music company. Under this agreement, Vringo subscribers will be able to personalize their own video ringtones, or "Vringos," using clips from some of the most popular videos in UMG's collection.

Vringos are associated with the caller, not the called phone. Subscribers to the Vringo service use a buddy list to deliver a 2- to 10-second personalized video clip announcing the caller to the person being called. For example, a Vringo subscriber can select a video clip of Rihanna's "SOS" to appear on all called parties' phones at the start of a call, or they can send a different Vringo to each individual. Vringos let subscribers share their enthusiasm for a great singer, movie or sports figure -- or simply share a memory, a laugh or a moment caught on the phone's camera.

Users select their Vringo clips through the phone or online, and from a variety of premium content. They may also download promotional clips at no cost, or generate their own free clips with the phone's video camera. As soon as a user selects and sends a clip, it is downloaded to all buddies' phones.

Vringos can be pushed to any subscriber in the Vringo community with a compatible wireless phone. The Vringo medium -- along with its multimedia messages -- is expected to spread virally through friends, interest groups, fan groups and social networks, and to serve the interests of content providers and carriers as well as mobile phone customers. If deployed as part of an advertising or subscription-based revenue model, promotional Vringos can be accompanied by click-through-purchase screens that take orders for the CD, DVD or movie ticket associated with the clip.

"The Universal Music Group videos being delivered to Vringo customers showcase the world's most popular artists and musicians, performing their landmark hits," said Rob Wells, senior vice president-Digital, Universal Music Group International. "We're pleased to make our artists available to an even wider and more connected worldwide audience through this service."

"Vringo is proud to be able to include Universal Music Group's content in the Vringo catalogue," said Jon Medved, Vringo CEO. "It will give subscribers access to some of the most compelling and popular material in the world today. We expect Universal Music's content to strongly resonate with the Vringo user base."

UMG has formatted its music videos to meet Vringo requirements in download speed and the mobile handset's screen resolution and size. The licensed clips represent the top 20 video sales in UMG's collection and range from Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot," to Rihanna's "SOS," Sugababes' "Push The Button," 50 Cent's "Outta Control," "Candy Shop" and "Just A Lil Bit," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Mario Winans' "I Don't Wanna Know," and Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Clips from these videos are now available to Vringo beta users via mobile handsets and can be acquired online by registered trial participants at

About Vringo

Vringo is the world's first video ringtone sharing community. The company is making Personalization 2.0 a reality by enabling users to experience rich media no matter which mobile device they're using -- and for the first time to share that media with others within a community.

Vringo was co-founded in 2006 by venture capitalist Jon Medved, now chief executive officer, and mobile software expert David Goldfarb, now chief technology officer. Vringo's management team comes from leading companies as diverse as Comverse, NMS Communications, Siemens, IDT, Earthlink and Vringo Chairman of the Board Dan Ciporin was CEO and chairman of, until it was sold to eBay. Vringo is backed by private investors.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is the world's largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 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 Label 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, Universal Records South 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, a global media and communications company.

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