BET Interactive Signs BMG to Promotional Deal

Beginning this week, BET Interactive will promote artists and recordings from global

music giant BMG Entertainment, through its first strategic marketing arrangement with a

major label.

BMG, the global music division of multimedia conglomerate Bertelsmann AG, will use the

urban and African-American portal to host pre-release music, exclusive interviews, and other

content through the deal, of which financial terms were not disclosed.

Accordingly, 360HipHop.com and BET.com will feature listening parties and promotional

contests, chats, and interviews with BMG artists including Arista’s Run DMC and

model-turned-rapper Tyrese.

The deal marks the first time that a music company has signed a strategic marketing

agreement of this kind with BET Interactive, which is partially owned by Viacom.

“BET.com’s music strategy is dedicated to developing synergistic opportunities by

providing the most comprehensive promotional platform for record labels and artists,” said

Leyla Turkkan, vice president for music development at BET.com.

“As an Internet company with a network component, BET.com creates a complete interactive

and convergent music experience for all audiences,” she added. “BMG is one of the most

important music groups in the world and has assembled a stellar new media team with a

vision.”

During the next several months, BET Interactive will highlight artists including Arista’s

Run DMC, RCA’s Tyrese and J Records’ Alicia Keys.

360HipHop.com began hosting a “world premiere listening party” for Run DMC’s upcoming

release “Crown Royal,” two weeks before the album will appear in stores. Users also will be

encouraged to pre-order the album and to enter a contest for an autographed Run DMC catalog.

In addition to online promotions, BET Interactive’s parent network BET will use on-air

crawls and host mentions to promote the Run DMC launch on the sites.

Another contest on BET.com will debut Tyrese’s upcoming album “2000 Watts” by promoting

the first single, “I Like Them Girls,” before the album is available in stores. Beginning

this week and continuing until April 11th, users also can enter on the site to win a trip to

Disney World to see Tyrese perform.

In coming months, BET.com also will launch and internally promote a commercial

documentary of BMG artist Alicia Keys.

“BMG is proud to have partnered with BET.com for these exciting online and offline

promotions,” said Evan Harrison, senior director for online marketing at BMG. “This

partnership marks our dedication to bring artists and their music closer to their fans and

at the same time, provide exposure of our artists in new and exciting ways.”

For some time, BMG has been pursuing online marketing agreements with minority-focused

Web sites. Last year, it inked a deal with Spanish- and Portuguese-language portal

StarMedia and made investments in African-American entertainment site Urban Entertainment,

and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender portal PlanetOut.com.

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