Warner Music Sites Add Video

Warner Music Group will install video players on the Web sites of its labels, including Atlantic, Elektra and Bad Boy, and its recording artists, through a partnership announced Wednesday with Internet video company Brightcove.

The Web-based players will encompass music videos, artist interviews, live performances and "behind-the-scenes" material. Through the deal, Warner will also allow bloggers, social networking sites and other Web publishers to add its video on-demand service to their sites. Sites that syndicate the Warner video programming will be able to share in ad revenue.

Brightcove, which operates its own ad network, will handle ad sales for the media player across the Warner and syndication partner sites. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company is now lining up charter advertisers, which it expects to announce later this year, said Adam Berrey, vice president of marketing and strategy at Brightcove. Marketers will have the opportunity to select video ad formats including pre- and post-roll spots.

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For the new video service, Warner and Brightcove also plan to develop specialized sponsorships and promotions incorporating Warner content and artists. Brightcove previously struck a similar deal with Sony Music to create its Musicbox video service. But the Warner video player appears to be a more ambitious effort, going beyond music videos to include original and live material.

Berrey noted that the Internet is giving record labels a new opportunity to connect directly with consumers. "Labels recognize that they're not consumer brands per se, but to the extent that they can forge relationships with consumers, it's a good thing for them," he said. In particular, he said labels can take advantage of unique content like behind-the-scenes footage to attract visitors to their sites.

In a prepared statement, Alex Zubillaga, executive vice president of digital strategy and business development at Warner Music, said: "We want to give music fans many different, entertainment-rich ways to experience our extensive video catalog and the new content artists are creating every day for the digital space." To that end, Warner last month forged a deal with YouTube to make its music video catalog available on the popular video-sharing hub.

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