RealTime IT News

Amazon Scores a New Partner Deal

Virgin Entertainment Group, North America, has turned to e-tailer Amazon.com < QUOTE NASDAQ:AMZN> to power the Virgin Megastore online operation as a co-branded Web site.

Amazon has similar deals with Borders.com for books, Toys 'R' Us and others.

Privately held Virgin Entertainment said that the alliance also includes a deal in Japan by which Virgin Entertainment Group, Japan, is expected to launch a Web site later this year powered by Amazon.co.jp. Financial arrangements were not disclosed, but revenue sharing is usually part of the package.

The deal is being referred to as a re-launch because Virginmega.com so far has been a content-only site, offering concert, artist, album and editorial information and reviews, a Virgin Entertainment spokesman told InternetNews.com. "Now it is offering an e-commerce platform as well as content -- so in truth it's a whole new site," the spokesman said.

Richard Branson, CEO and founder of Virgin Entertainment Group, said the aim is to "replicate the (real-world) Virgin Megastore browsing experience online."

Customers of the co-branded site will benefit from access to Amazon.com's editorial and customer reviews, personalization features and recommendations and 1-Click ordering.

Radio Free Virgin, a digital radio outfit that is part of the Virgin family of companies, will be linked to the co-branded Virgin Mega/Amazon site shortly after the launch, allowing listeners to buy the albums they are listening to on their computers.