Sprite Sponsors Dance Club Webcast

In its endless pursuit of fresh video content, America Online Wednesday said it plans on streaming live footage from Miami's cavernous mega-club Mansion on AOL Music over the next four Friday nights.

Viewers can see and listen live from midnight to three in the morning, or access what AOL has dubbed "Red at Night" on-demand.

Coca-Cola's Sprite brand is sponsoring the show exclusively with pre-roll and banner advertising. And, while there are no official plans for product placement, Sprite will be given out to club-goers.

Last year, AOL hosted a similar online event from the Manhattan club Suede, but the footage was only available to paying subscribers of AOL Red--the Internet company's teen service. (AOL Red is still a paid subscription service, but "Red at Night" will be hosted free via AOL Music, an AOL spokeswoman said.)

The Suede event--hosted exclusively by Cadbury Schweppes' Dentyne brand of gum--drew 30,000 unique impressions during the three-hour live stream, and was then viewed over a million times during a period of four weeks, according to Malcolm Bird, senior vice president and general manager of AOL Kids and Teens. "Last year's pilot was very successful; the response was overwhelmingly positive," said Bird. "That's why we're doing it again this year."



Four Webcams positioned throughout the club--named Miami's hottest by People magazine--will focus on the dance floor and the DJ booth. A 30-second delay will guarantee that young viewers are not exposed to the scurrilous debauchery for which Miami's nightlife is legendary.

Other efforts by AOL to cultivate new video offerings include AOL Moviefone's virtual short film festival, which it launched over the summer. Ford Motors' Mercury Milan is sponsoring the event, which includes fifteen comedic shorts, including "The Office Party" with "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart, and "Young Arty Feldman," which tells the story of a 15-year-old wheeler-dealer who brokers jobs in the San Fernando Valley's fast food industry. "Young Arty Feldman" was named the winner of the festival, an AOL spokeswoman said.

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