AT&T Uses Search To Connect Mobile Users With Music

headshotAT&T has turned toward search advertising and marketing to connect consumers who love digital music to a series of blue room web casts planned this year. The carrier has offered live and recorded concerts through the Web site for three years, but now plans to set up efforts to connect with digital music lovers where they live, online.

This year, AT&T turns the spotlight on its purchase of keyword terms related to artists and festivals, such as the 2008 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The strategy aims to attract consumers who listen to digital music and do the majority of their searching for entertainment online. Traditional banner ads will continue to run through 2008 to promote blue room concerts on music video sites like MTV, MySpace and Pandora, places where people go to watch music videos and listen to music clips.

The fundamental strategy to connect with consumers though music emphasizes AT&T's ability to link one person to another through technology. "It's that simple," said Joey Schultz, VP of consumer marketing at AT&T. "It's about building tighter bonds with consumers who have a passion for music."

Through the agreement with CBS Radio--the driving engine behind AT&T's blue room service--the carrier runs advertising on several radio stations in Los Angeles, New York, and other major markets. AT&T typically uses the first part of the 30- or 60-second spot to promote the festival and web cast, taking the back end for branding or talk about products and services.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival becomes the next blue room web cast from the carrier's blue room May 3 and May 4. The festival, presented by Shell, features Al Green, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Jimmy Buffett, The Neville Brothers, Tim McGraw, Santana, and Sheryl Crow. The event, which also took place last weekend, will again take place next weekend. Sponsors of the festival include Acura, Borders, Capital One, Pepsi, Peoples Health, Miller Lite and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

The blue room markets phones and wireless plans to consumers--such as upgrading paths to other phones, adding service lines or changing rate plans. Not only does the site provide consumers with information about services, it also gives AT&T the opportunity to demonstrate the advanced TV service U-verse, high-speed Internet access and wireless products such as phones, and lets consumers purchase ringtones and mobile video games.

AT&T's MEdia Mall offers the option to purchase ringtones from Sheryl Crow, Robert Plant, Keyshia Cole, Stevie Wonder, and more. Mobile games also are available, such as "Tetris," "Bejewele," and "Guitar Hero."

AT&T also webcast the 2008 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. last weekend. In May the carrier plans to make the concert available on-demand across the three screens--online, AT&T U-verse TV offering, and Cellular Video on AT&T wireless devices to promote services.

Future concerts include Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival: Manchester, Tenn., June 13-15; Lollapalooza: Chicago, Aug. 1-3; and Austin City Limits Music Festival: Austin, Texas, Sept. 26-28.

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