Wireless Watch for July 9, 2004

Warner Music to Add Short Codes to Packaging

Warner Music Group is partnering with Mobileway, a wireless entertainment and marketing firm, to incorporate wireless branding into its CD packaging. Mobileway will endow Warner Music’s new CD releases with five-digit short codes that will let mobile subscribers directly access artist ringtones, screensavers and wallpaper. Album posters, artist Web sites and online banner ads will also feature the short codes.

“Working with Mobileway allows us to use the fast-growing mobile music market as another way to promote our music,” said Michael Nash, senior VP of Internet strategy and business development for WMG. “With the growing popularity of mobile ringtones, integrated short-codes are a natural extension of our marketing efforts.”

Warner Music Group labels include Atlantic, Lava and Warner Music Latina. Wireless branding will begin to appear by the end of the year. Two months ago, Atlantic and Lava launched a Web site to sell ringtones from artists including matchbox twenty, Simple Plan and Twista.

T-Mobile Offers “King Arthur” Content

T-Mobile USA subscribers can download “King Arthur” mobile content through a partnership the carrier struck with Touchstone Pictures/Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Now through July 21, subscribers can obtain Disney mobile ringtones, graphics and a game in which players guide Sir Lancelot through a series of adventures. Character voice ringtones of Guinevere and King Arthur will also be available for download.

T-Mobile users who download the content are automatically entered in a sweepstakes. Prizes include soundtrack CDs, chess sets, and a grand prize trip to Hollywood. Online banners and in-store materials are promoting the content and sweepstakes.

SMS Sensitive Billboard Douses Passersby

A German billboard has been set up to douse nearby pedestrians with water using an automatic sprinkler system that’s triggered by SMS, according to a report by Poynter. The advertiser, Gardena, bought a large poster space outside the Dortmund train station. The billboard and a companion Web site, which promote home and garden products, invite phone-wielding Germans to use SMS to activate a shower built into the sign and drench local commuters.

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