[b] Michael Jackson and Sony search for unsigned acts online[/b] 20 September 2006 Sony ATV, a partnership between Michael Jackson and Sony have partnered with Sony’s phone company, Sony Ericsonn to create a new promotional space for breaking new and developing artists called ‘M-BUZZ’. Is the ‘M’ for Michael? who recently travelled around Kinsale in Ireland, potentially house-hunting in an area famous for it’s reclusive celebrity residents. Even more interesting is the shift from “signed” artists towards “un-signed” artists. More and more audience are shifting from what they are told to like by the industry to what they truly like, recommended by friends or found online. “Sony/ATV Music Publishing is always looking for new and compelling ways to promote our artists and song writers,” said David Hockman, Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing. NewsCorps MySpace, BT’s Digital Music Awards, Coca-Cola iTunes and others are also looking at new and emerging entertainment artists. What will this mean for the future of the music industry? Has it finally woken up to the fact its audience has moved on, even if they havent? Will Robbie Williams need to get a mortgage? M-BUZZ will enable music fans everywhere to experience featured artists’ full tracks, videos, biographies, gig schedules and other content, allowing them to check out tomorrow’s stars up close and personal. Sony Ericsson also announced today that it has entered into a ground breaking partnership with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. M-BUZZ will initially showcase a limited number of artists and bands each month hand picked from the Sony/ATV’s worldwide roster. It will initially offer content for download to the phone with new commercial aspects being developed later as additional features are incorporated into the M-BUZZ space. “M-BUZZ is all about breaking new artists; it’s about giving tomorrow’s stars, the artists that have not yet been picked up by major record companies, the exposure they deserve and the possibility for them to reach a wider audience. Sony Ericsson is very excited to be providing this new stage and taking on a more active role in the music industry going forward. Music is about innovation, creativity and change, and with the addition of M-BUZZ we will broaden our already wide music offering even further at the same time as we are allowing people to discover fantastic new music that otherwise might pass them by,” explains Martin Blomkvist, Head of Content Acquisition and Partner Management at Sony Ericsson. According to Sony, “Today’s announcement is another great example of the cooperative spirit that exists between Sony Ericsson and other Sony Group companies, which gives us a unique opportunity to bring appealing, innovative content to our mobile phones,” says Miles Flint, President of Sony Ericsson. “M-BUZZ enables music fans not just to hear new, unsigned acts, but also to find out more about the musicians through interviews, home movies and more, creating a new mobile music experience.” “This partnership with Sony Ericsson gives our musicians and writers unprecedented exposure to music fans around the world, and we are very pleased to join with Sony Ericsson in bringing this unique music channel to consumers.” “We are thrilled to be partnering with Sony Ericsson to provide our artists and songwriters the opportunity to have their music heard by Sony Ericsson’s many millions of global customers,” said Lauren Berkowitz, Vice President of Global Digital Business for Sony/ATV Music Publishing. “When it comes to breaking new and developing artists in the digital age, music publishers are in a great position to lead such initiatives, as we frequently work with artists very early in their careers, usually well before they have been heard on a larger scale.” The first phones offering M-BUZZ will be the W850 and W950 Walkman® phones announced earlier this year and scheduled to ship in European, Asian and Latin American markets during the second half of 2006. Artists on M-BUZZ at launch will include Kish Mauve, Embassy, Dirty Perfect, FKLV, Iggy, The Head Set, Bobby Kray, Anjulie, Lights and Monte*Rosa. www.m-buzz.com will go live on October 2 and downloadable content will be made available, in a phased approach, in 20 markets which already offer secure full track over-the-air music download services through Sony Ericsson’s PlayNow™ service. http://www.m-buzz.com Source: http://www.irishdev.com/NewsArticle.aspx?id=3893

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