Excite, MTVi Launch Music Site

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Broadband service provider Excite@Home and online music entertainment company The MTVi Group debuted Excite Music on Wednesday.


Promotional efforts to drive traffic to the site will focus on "your typical MTV target" and will include television spots on Viacom properties, programming mentions on MTV Networks and outdoor media buys in the Silicon Alley area, said Dorothy Rotatori, Excite@Home director of advertising.


Two television spots will air across national cable networks on MTV, VH1 and Nick at Nite. "The strategy behind this is to portray the passion people have toward music," Rotatori said.


TV ads will depict the story of two men in their late 20s and their involvement with music. The new URL, www.music.excite.com, will fade up from the bottom of the screen. The URL will gain momentum over the last six seconds of the spots and will be prominently displayed in the center of the screen when the spots end. Call-outs of the Web site's offerings -- "MP3s, videos, news, reviews, bios and pics" -- will fade in over the last few seconds.


One billboard buy along Highway 101 in the San Francisco Bay area will draw "thousands and thousands of eyeballs every hour," Rotatori claimed. "It's fabulous placement, [because the highway is] basically a parking lot" due to traffic, she said.


The billboard's simple message, "Excite + MTV = Music," is printed above the URL.


As for the site's content, music news and reviews of artists new and old, MTV and VH-1 branded top video charts and music from Internet radio station Sonicnet.com will be offered.


Excite Music also will feature MTVi branded streaming audio and video clips of lesser-known artists from MTV News' "You Hear It First."


Byron Smith, Excite@Home chief marketing officer and executive vice president of consumer broadband services, said, "I believe that we're building the best marketing vehicle on the Internet for labels and artists to showcase their music today and in the future."


Musicplex and Musicmusicmusic Inc. are among the content providers. Listen.com will provide a music download directory of both free and for-purchase titles. Universal Music Group will provide for-purchase titles.
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