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Warner Music, Skype ring up a deal

Partnership will let Skype sell ring tones culled from original recordings in Warner Music's library.

Warner Music Group will deliver ring tones from its vast library to Skype customers, under a deal announced Monday.

U.S. customers of VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) provider Skype will be able to download ring tones culled from songs by Warner artists such as Madonna, Green Day, Mike Jones and D4L. The snippets will cost $1.50 each, according to a Warner Music representative.

Skype, acquired last year by online auctioneer eBay, is tapping into a market that is relatively new to VoIP providers. Ring tone sales, however, have been gaining steam in the cell phone industry, which views them as an additional source of revenue.

"We are excited that more than 70 million Skype users around the world will now have the ability to enjoy content from Warner Music Group artists," Alex Zubillaga, an executive vice president at Warner Music, said in a statement.

Skype said it expects to start offering the ring tones in the coming months. To help promote the service, its online retail store will include a "Featured Artist" section designed to showcase work from a single artist and include a link to a Web page where ring tones from that artist's music can be purchased.

Madonna is expected to appear as the first major singer in the "Featured Artist" section, where people can download snippets of hits such as "Like a Virgin" and "Vogue." Ring tones pulled from Madonna's latest album, "Confessions on a Dancefloor," will include segments of "Hung Up," "Sorry" and "Push."