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.

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