Much Music Promo Harmonizes With Morissette Fans

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Independent music television network MuchMusic USA is launching its first online contest to draw new viewers and promote the value of broadband to cable providers.


Its Class Dismissed promotion encourages Alanis Morissette fans to create their own videos for Morissette's single "Ironic" on the New York-based network's site, www.mmusa.tv.


Launched in June, MuchMusic's site offers its Videolator software for free. Videolator allows users to make their own videos. Viewers can create videos matching artists' songs.


MuchMusic is in 12 million homes in major U.S. cities and is targeted at individuals age 12 to 34. It touts itself as the only viewer-driven, all-music network.


During the Class Dismissed promotion, which runs from July 25 to Aug. 17, 40 videos will be selected and posted online. Visitors to the site will select the top 25 semi-finalists. MuchMusic USA then will select the top 10 finalists and will ask contestants to submit a video explaining why they are a Morissette fan.


The grand prize winner will be selected in September, but the winner's identity will be kept a secret until Morissette arrives at his or her school and "dismisses them from class."


Morissette will give a performance at the school, which will be broadcast on the TV network in November and on MuchMusic's site, www.mmusa.tv.


MuchMusic executives anticipate thousands of entries, thanks to cross-marketing on Morissette's official fan site, www.alanismorissette.com.


MuchMusic also started advertising the Class Dismissed promotion in cable trade magazines last week, hoping the promotion will fuel interest in MuchMusic and its interactive site.


"We're trying to push the adoption of digital cable modems and set-top boxes with quality broadband content," said Jocelyn Johnson, a spokesman for MuchMusic.


MuchMusic will offer affiliates marketing packages, including cross-channel ad displays and point-of-purchase displays.


"We are providing content support to our affiliates for the rapid adoption of digital services and supporting our advertisers with unique and targeted opportunities to reach the 12- to 24-year-old music-lover demographic," said Elaine Ching McEntee, director of marketing at MuchMusic.


Other interactive segments on MuchMusic's Web site include Tastemaker, where viewers can submit online video clips of themselves voicing their opinions on music and artists. Each week online viewers vote current "taste makers" out and vote in new individuals.


The resulting television segment is a daily, half-hour show called "Tastemaker." "Since the network doesn't have VJs, taste makers will create the personality of the network," said Jocelyn Johnson, a spokesman for MuchMusic.


In the Oven Fresh segment, viewers can vote online daily to select the best new music videos they want to see as part of a regular on-air rotation. The 30-minute television show will feature new releases, new artists and the latest hits.


In Random Intelligence, a weekly half-hour show, viewers become video stringers for the network, videotaping and reporting on their local music scene.


Mmusa.tv's technology partners include Heavy Inc., a broadband content developer; iClips Inc., a provider of streaming video messaging; and Oddcast Inc., a provider of interactive media applications. The companies are all based in New York.


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