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WaPo has a good story on how mobile operators are helping revive the music industry. Some recent examples of exclusive deals in U.S.: Last week T-Mobile USA struck a deal to make Atlantic Records’ rap artist Lupe Fiasco’s new songs, “Kick Push” and “Just Might Be OK,” available for download on the carrier’s latest Samsung T509 phone, more than a month before the launch of the album in stores June 27. The same label’s multi-platinum rap artist T.I. agreed in March to put songs from his new album, “King,” exclusively over Sprint Nextel before the album sold anywhere else. Sony Urban Music and Epic Records last week released R&B superstar Omarion’s new single, “Entourage,” but only as a ringtone from BET Mobile.
This surprised me: Some artists, like rap star T-Pain, sell more songs in the form of ringtones than as singles or albums.