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CDNOW.com, Pizza Hut Team for Music Promotion

Online music retailer CDNOW and Pizza Hut Friday joined for a promotion that gives buyers of a New Yorker pizza a free custom CD.

The promotional CD, with songs from the Dixie Chicks, the Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, among other, is aimed both at pushing the Pizza Hut product, and at driving traffic to CDNOW's Web site. For the length of the promotion, CDNOW will try to monetize this new traffic by offering a 30 percent discount on selected albums.

Consumers who order the New Yorker pizza between January 23rd and February 20th will receive a CD sleeve with a personal access code, which will allow them to get the free, six-song CD on the music e-tailer's site. They'll be able to select from more than 200 songs from more than 70 artists.

CDNOW offered a similar opportunity last year that featured only Beastie Boys songs, and the company said it was very successful. Beastie Boys album sales increased 265 percent at CDNOW during the three weeks following the November. 23, 1999 start of the promotion, as compared to the three week period prior to the promotion.

"The ability to customize and personalize music using the Internet is one of the most exciting new developments in music today.

This unique promotion is the first time two leading brands, such as Pizza Hut and CDNOW, have offered consumers a way to experience creating a custom CD for free," says Jason Olim, president and chief executive officer of CDNOW.

CDNOW enlisted EMI Music Distribution to provide most of the music for the promotion. The company owns Capitol, Capitol Nashville, Virgin, Virgin Nashville, Angel, Blue Note, Astralwerks, Hi Records, Chrysalis, Val, Christian Music Group, Sparrow, Tooth & Nail, Forefront, and Pointblank record labels.

CDNOW is in the process of merging with Columbia House, which is a joint venture of Sony Corp. of America and Time Warner.