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WMI gets call in Russia

Label signs with mobile telco VimpelCom

Warner Music Intl. has become the first music major to pact with a mobile operator in Russia for downloads of its catalog.

It signed with Russia’s No. 2 mobile telco VimpelCom on Thursday. Its Beeline’s music platform will launch Tuesday with digital content and live performances from Madonna.

The star makes her first appearance in Russia on Sept. 11 at Sparrow Hills in front of Moscow State U., her only stop in the country.

From October, Beeline will start selling WMI library to the telco’s 50 million or so subscribers.

“This is an exciting deal for Warner Music, not only because it provides Russian audiences a unique way to connect with Madonna, but also because one of our most iconic and popular artists will introduce music fans to Beeline’s new mobile music service,” said Alex Zubillaga, Warner Music’s exec VP for digital strategy and business development.

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