Skype Inks Ringtones from Majors

VoIP operator Skype, now a division of mighty eBay, has announced deals with major music publishers to provide audio clips from leading music artists to Skype customers as ringtones beginning today.

Skype’s deals include publishers EMI Music, Warner/Chappell Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and the U.K. artists’ rights association MCPS-PRS Alliance, and includes artists like Madonna, Green Day, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Ringtones from the Madonna songs “Like a Virgin” and “Vogue” are already available to Skype customers for $1.50 apiece, with other artists to follow soon.

Skype’s deals primarily give them access to songs from the publisher’s catalogs, but, except in the case of Warner/Chappell Music, doesn’t provide access to the master recordings. So, in many cases, Skype won’t be providing “master ringtones:” the company will have to separately purchase or produce versions of songs from the publishers’ catalogs to function as ringtones.

The move makes sense for Skype