RealTime IT News

N2K Tunes in Music Deal With Disney, ABC

Disney's Buena Vista Internet Group and N2K's Music Boulevard entered into an electronic commerce and marketing agreement today under which Music Boulevard becomes the exclusive music retailer on the Disney.com and ABC.com sites.

In addition, Disney's ABC Radio Networks and Music Boulevard said they will jointly create a series of Web sites for ABC's affiliate stations that will feature Music Boulevard's music-related content and e-tailing capabilities.

Although financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, a partnership with Disney and ABC will be of significant value to N2K as it bids to compete with arch rival CDNow for e-commerce agreements that deliver brand recognition and user reach in the music retail space.

Aligning with Disney, whose portal ambitions were made evident recently in the entertainment giant's purchase of a 43% stake in Infoseek, is a major coup for N2K and further evidence of the importance of lining up emerging Web media players as partners.

Under today's agreement, Music Boulevard becomes the sole music merchandiser of Walt Disney Records on Disney.com's Shop channel as well as other areas of the site. Links from the shopping area and from the Disney Records site will lead guests to a "Disney Music at Music Boulevard" boutique. The virtual store will feature titles such as The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.

ABC.com and Music Boulevard will combine to deliver a feature that highlights music specials from ABC's American Music Awards, In Concert, and World Music Awards programming. The companies said over 350,000 audio clips will be available, and online purchases can be made through links to ABC-N2K co-branded pages on Music Boulevard. ABC.com's shopping site will also display Music Boulevard promotions.

The deal calls for Music Boulevard to handle transactions and fulfillment of purchases made from both Disney.com and ABC.com.

The alliance also covers advertising and e-commerce agreements that affect other Buena Vista Internet Group Web sites, but Disney did not provide specifics of those deals.

In the third part of the agreement, Music Boulevard is pegged as the exclusive online music retailer for ABC Radio Networks and its online affiliates and ABC-owned radio stations.

Plans call for Music Boulevard to create a co-branded online music store for each station's site that will incorporate Music Boulevard offerings, including its 200,000 title catalog, 350,000 music samples, online artist chats, and cybercasts.