Sony Ericsson adds 5m new tracks to PlayNow

Signs up 10 record labels, launches Uncut for unsigned bands

Sony Ericsson has added another five million tracks to its PlayNow music store, the firm announced today.

Signing up 10 major record labels - including the likes of Sony BMG, Warner Music Group and EMI - Sony Ericsson aims to broaden its over-the-air PlayNow music service to compete with Apple's iTunes Store and the

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"We are delighted to announce deals with such high calibre record labels. This will help realise our vision for PlayNow arena as a service that will be developed in collaboration with our partners," said Sony Ericsson's executive vice president, Anders Runevad.

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PlayNow, due to launch in May, lets you download tracks straight to your phone or computer. There's also MP3 ringtones, themes and wallpapers to buy. Sony Ericsson also announced that 250 new games from manufacturers like EA Games, Gameloft, THQ, and Glu have been added to the store.

At the MIDEM music industry conference in Cannes, Sony Ericsson launched PlayNow Uncut as well, which lets unsigned artists promote themselves and showcase their music.

"The PlayNow arena is an open environment that offers something for everyone. We see PlayNow Uncut as the edgy version, whilst the PlayNow music section is more a case of familiarity, giving consumers something they know and are already comfortable with," said Martin Blomkvist, head of content acquisition and management at Sony Ericsson.