MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), and one of the world’s leading creators of television and digital entertainment, and Warner Music Group Corp. (NYSE: WMG), one the world’s premier music companies, have announced a broad-reaching, multi-year partnership that strengthens MTV Music Group’s leadership position in the digital music category while expanding WMG’s artist-centered video strategy.
The agreement also offers one-stop shopping for advertising inventory around the industry’s most comprehensive source of music-related programming and music videos. MTV Music Group will now have the exclusive right to sell advertising inventory around WMG premium music video content in the U.S. across MTV Music Group digital properties and mobile services, as well as on WMG’s growing network of proprietary artist sites and third-party affiliate sites. As part of the deal, WMG’s video views will now be counted as part of MTV Music Group’s.
Through this new partnership, WMG artists will have multiple ways to reach MTVN’s hyper-connected audience across its flagship music franchises, covering multiple genres and platforms such as MTV’s Emmy Award winning Unplugged series, VH1’s Behind the Music and CMT’s Crossroads.
“At WMG our highest priority is to keep the artists at the center of everything we do, and this alliance enables us to offer our artists the marketing and sales firepower of the world’s most widely-recognized and highly-trafficked music destinations to help them drive revenue from their video content, on the artist’s own site, as well as through the many other places that fans access their music,” said Lyor Cohen, Vice Chairman and Chairman and CEO, Recorded Music – Americas and the U.K., WMG. “MTV Music Group has a history of creating compelling music content on TV, digitally and, most recently, in music games and their ability to leverage all of these platforms offers our artists a broader reach and a more compelling way for us to further connect them with music fans.”
This partnership comes on the heels of exponential digital growth for MTV Music Group. Over the last year, the Group has garnered a 68% increase in unique visitors, further positioning it as an industry leader in the music category. MTV Music Group’s strategy provides a comprehensive approach to music discovery across all screens and builds upon the Group’s success with traditional music videos to include artist interviews and news, exclusive live stream concerts and chats, original documentaries, music apps and innovative social media integration.
“As music consumption continues to evolve, we have evolved with it on linear and digital platforms to provide music fans with multiple ways to discover and access the music and artists they love,” said Van Toffler, President of MTV Music Group. “This partnership with WMG is good for music fans, artists and the business, allowing consumers to connect directly with WMG’s biggest musical artists simultaneously through music videos, interviews, exclusive archival footage, live performances and even original content we create together, truly building a musical experience for the future.”
Under the terms of the deal, MTVN and WMG will also work together to sell advertising on WMG mobile apps and WAP sites, as well as identify sponsors for WMG artist tours and live events. MTVN will also provide WMG labels with a full range of ad sales services from their renowned ad sales and marketing teams, including marketing, strategy and planning, pipeline management and reporting, and the management of agency relationships. In addition to online and mobile opportunities, WMG artists will continue to receive exposure across popular MTV Music Group networks such as MTV, VH1, CMT, MTV2, VH1 Classic, Palladia and others.
Prior to this agreement with MTVN, certain of WMG’s online ad sales functions were handled by Outrigger Media, a leading provider of Internet video advertising solutions. WMG will continue to work with Outrigger over the next few months as it relates to the company’s premium advertising sales and explore opportunities beyond the transition with MTVN.
Cohen added, “Mike Henry and the team at Outrigger have done an outstanding job representing WMG and its artists and we look forward to working with Outrigger in a different capacity on new and targeted marketing programs.”
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Shockwave, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.
About Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group became the only stand-alone music company to be publicly traded in the United States in May 2005. With its broad roster of new stars and legendary artists, Warner Music Group is home to a collection of the best-known record labels in the music industry including Asylum, Atlantic, Cordless, East West, Elektra, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word. Warner Music International, a leading company in national and international repertoire, operates through numerous international affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries. Warner Music Group also includes Warner/Chappell Music, one of the world’s leading music publishers, with a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.