Thumbplay for a limited time will be the exclusive distributor of ringtones and other mobile content by rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter. Thumbplay and Universal Music Group (UMG) made the announcement today.
Starting today, Thumbplay customers can personalize their mobile phones with a collection of 10 singles that never were available before in the mobile market. Thumbplay will have the content exclusively until Aug. 18.
While Thumbplay gets to distribute the content, UMG can take advantage of Thumbplay’s vast marketing machine, according to Mitch Rotter, Thumbplay’s vice president of content acquisition and merchandising. Thumbplay will market the tones and tunes through direct response television and through relationships with the likes of AOL.
Jay-Z, probably one of the best-known rappers, apparently was reluctant to release his music via mobile in a big way until now, which is somewhat unique given the mobile channel is such a big one for hip-hop.
Thumbplay and UMG inked a deal in April 2006 that significantly increased the mobile entertainment content company’s offerings through access to 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.
Jay-Z earlier this year married another well-known entertainer, Beyonce Knowles.