Co. to form mobile products group

Sony Music Entertainment bought wireless entertainment company Run Tones on Wednesday, announcing the acquisition would be the basis for a new mobile products unit headed by its two top execs.

Run Tones already has several business lines, selling ring tones and a personal photo service, creating private-labeled portals for other would-be online entertainment companies and producing online media. Customers include such heavyweights as Ericsson, Nokia, AT&T Wireless, Adobe, Warner Music and Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment.

As part of the deal, Sony will form a mobile products group in its Sony Music Digital Services area. The group will oversee expansion of wireless efforts worldwide, including sales of ringtones and album previews from Sony acts, as well as other new products.

Run Tones CEO J.J. Rosen will add VP of the mobile products group to his portfolio, reporting to Thomas Gewecke, the senior VP of Sony Music Digital Services. Run Tones chief technology officer Tim Nilson will add the title of VP, Mobile Technology for the digital services unit. He will report to Phil Weiser, chief technology officer of Sony Music Entertainment. Both will remain based in New York.

Rosen previously was co-founder and prexy of N2K, an early online music seller ultimately acquired by CDnow, and also worked for GRP Records. Nilson was a top exec at N2K and CDnow before co-founding Run Tones with Rosen.

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