US music publishing copyright organization BMI has announced several deals with mobile ringtone providers. BMI has signed deals in the last few months with industry giants including MSN, Yahoo!, Sprint PCS and Sonera.
In Europe and Asia, ringtones have been one of the most lucrative areas of mobile content outside SMS. More and more handsets are able to download the latest tunes. While the music industry missed out on revenues then, it hopes to see the benefits if the US follows suit.
BMI controls the performance rights for 4.5 million works, all of which could be made available by these deals. Companies will pay the organization per download.