RealTime IT News

McAfee Hops Aboard Morpheus, Blubster

Looking for new distribution channels for its consumer line of anti-virus software, McAfee.com has inked deals to find customers among users of Morpheus and Blubster peer-to-peer networks.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based McAfee said the plan is to lure new customers by giving away the SecurityCenter software, which combines a free set of online security tools with access to McAfee.com's paid managed security products.

And, with the popular P2P networks emerging as a a fertile distribution ground for destructive viruses and worms, it appears to be the perfect place to market anti-virus software.

That's exactly the thinking of McAfee, which hopes to distribute SecurityCenter to more than a million new PCs during the third quarter. The trick is to entice millions of P2P file sharing fans with freebies and trials to McAfee's premium services.

McAfee CEO Srivats Sampath said the new initiative would give the company "access to a distribution channel with millions of potential subscribers."

In the deal with StreamCast Networks-owned Morpheus, McAfee plans to push its security services directly from the Morpheus download client. It is set up to constantly alert Morpheus users about Internet security issues while downloading or uploading files.

The Morpheus client, which claims more than 100 million downloads, would distribute the SecurityCenter to users free of charge. While financial terms of the deal were not released, it is believe to be a straight revenue share

"We believe that the existence of the SecurityCenter on millions of machines will be instrumental in helping us to alert users to security issues and thereby curb the rapid spread of viruses," Sampath said.

The latest marketing push also includes a deal with Spain's Blubster music-only file sharing service. McAfee said the partnership puts its software before three million users of Blubster.

Terms of the deal call for Blubster to promote SecurityCenter to its users free of charge both during the installation process and through a special security "tab" directly accessible from the Blubster client.

Blubster runs a serverless and anonymous p2p network that allows the sharing of mp3 files over the Internet.

Just like it has done with Morpheus, McAfee's long-term plan is dangle freebies to Blubster users and eventually convert them into paying customers. McAfee's premium products include VirusScan Online, McAfee.com Personal Firewall, McAfee.com Privacy Service and McAfee.com SpamKiller.