Warner Music, Sony Ericsson, Madonna team up for Hard Candy

Mumbai: Sony Ericsson and Warner Music International announced an agreement enabling new music and mobile content from Madonna’s smash hit new album Hard Candy to be sold with selected Sony Ericsson mobile devices in twenty seven countries.

High profile marketing campaigns in each country will promote the availability of the phones and Madonna’s eleventh studio album for Warner Bros. Records. Hard Candy has debuted at number one in thirty seven countries, with 4 Minutes, the first single from the album, also hitting the top spot across the world.

From this month, a range of Sony Ericsson phones pre-loaded with Hard Candy will be sold in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The phones will retail in two packages, one with five tracks from the album, the other with the full album and both with extra content such as wallpapers and ringtones. In a staggered roll-out that began in May, a download voucher for Hard Candy and an array of additional content including an exclusive 4 Minutes remix is being ‘bundled’ with purchases of the Sony Ericsson W890 Walkman phone in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden. Sony Ericsson W380i Walkman mobiles in Belgium and Czech Republic are already available with a Hard Candy CD.

WMI vice chairman and Warner Music Europe president John Reid said, "The evolution of mobile handsets along with technological convergence continues to open up new ways for us to distribute and market our artists’ music. This partnership with Sony Ericsson further expands Hard Candy’s global promotional reach and puts exciting content from the album direct into the hands of Madonna fans all over the world."

Warner Music Latin America president Inigo Zabala said, "As the prevailing digital technology in Latin America, mobile phones offer us an ever-growing opportunity to connect artists with fans on an immediate, on-going basis. The pre-loaded Sony Ericsson devices will provide consumers with a rich, immersive Hard Candy experience whilst furnishing them with the means to discover further fantastic mobile content from Madonna."

Sony Ericsson head of content acquisition Martin Blomkvist said, "Sony Ericsson have been involved in a number of very successful artist specific initiatives, all of them aimed at pushing mobile music to new levels. We are very pleased to work with Warner Music around such an iconic and continuously groundbreaking artist like Madonna."