NEW YORK (Billboard) - Cash Money/Universal Motown has launched a mobile subscription service to deliver ringtones, graphics, videoclips, text alerts and contest opportunities to fans of label artists like Lil Wayne, the Hot Boys and Birdman, Billboard has learned.
Cash Money Mobile will cost $9.99 per month, which will be charged directly to a user's phone bill. Universal kicked off the program with a soft launch in June, around the release of Cash Money breadwinner Lil Wayne's chart-topping "Tha Carter III." Since then, subscribers have had access to a dozen exclusive ringtones that comprise second edits, remixes and alternate takes of album tracks.
The content is delivered by mobile content distributor m-Wise, which hooks up carriers Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Alltel, Boost & Suncom via its MOMA Service Delivery Platform. Universal previously has used m-Wise's services through online mobile entertainment platform Thumbplay.
Similar subscription programs are widespread with mainstream artists. Island Def Jam started its own IDJ Mobile subscription service this year.
"But this is Cash Money. It's a small boutique group of artists with a very similar fan base," according to Kameo Carlson, senior vice president of digital business development for Universal Motown Republic Group (UMRG). "There's a core group of consumers that associate with the specific Cash Money brand." That core group helped make Wayne's "Lollipop" one of the first platinum-selling ringtones in the United States earlier this year.
According to Carlson, the company has not yet determined the number of subscribers who have signed up for the initiative. But more than 100,000 fans have subscribed to Lil Wayne's free mobile fan club, which offers services like text updates.