Market Watch

Warner Music and MTV Form Advertising Partnership

July 06, 2010

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Warner Music Group (WMG) and MTV Networks (MTVN) have announced a long-term digital advertising sales partnership for the US. The deal grants MTVN exclusive rights to sell advertising inventory around WMG music video content across both MTV Music Group online and mobile services and WMG proprietary and affiliate sites. As part of the deal, MTVN will count all WMG online video views as its own.

The two companies will also co-ordinate ad sales efforts around WMG mobile properties and identification of sponsorships for live tours and events. MTVN will also provide in-house marketing, planning and strategy for all WMG labels.

WMG is a notable hold-out from Vevo, a joint-venture between Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and Abu-Dhabi Media Company. With Google acting as the technical solutions partner and licensing agreements with EMI and CBS, the service quickly became the most popular dedicated online music video destination in the US according to comScore VideoMetrix.

WMG reached a separate arrangement with YouTube whereby the label retained the direct control of advertising inventory sales around all its video content on this video platform. Screen Digest understands that YouTube is among the affiliates for which MTVN will now handle advertising sales.

It is of note that the intended takeover of music video content on YouTube by Vevo has been very unequal. While majority of UMG artists video traffic is channelled to Vevo-run artist pages or displayed via embedded Vevo player on YouTube, SME often still maintains its artists' YouTube channels directly. As a result, it appears that only a fraction of participating labels' music video consumption on YouTube is counted towards and, more importantly, monetized by Vevo.

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