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You’re reading it here first… Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) and Warner Music International are partnering to bundle Madonna’s latest album, Hard Candy, on handsets in 27 countries. Starting this month, the bundles will come in two versions – one with five tracks from the album, another with the full release plus extra wallpapers and ringtones.
Sony Ericsson already started offering vouchers with its W890 Walkman, allowing those in Scandinavia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to buy the album later, and those in Belgium and Czech Republic get a CD with their W380i handsets. Now the handset maker is bundling the album digitally also in south and central America and the Caribbean.
Samsung had already struck a deal to pre-bundle Hard Candy on its F400. Sony Ericsson said it hoped its move would drive up mobile music adoption, which still languishes behind expectations. SonyEricsson has previously pre-loaded Def Jam artists on to another of its handsets and SonyBMG has stated its intention to make a bigger splash in all-you-can-eat mobile music downloads. Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) got the exclusive on the Madonna album but staggered track releases by the week. A special remix of the 4 Minutes single has also been doing the rounds as a mobile offering, also used by Verizon.