Billboard Bits: Zune/New Era, Megadeth, Nokia
Microsoft's Zune, as part of a marketing campaign with hat manufacturer New Era, will be releasing a series of Webisodes featuring artists such as Nelly, Linkin Park and N.E.R.D.Microsoft's Zune, as part of a marketing campaign with hat manufacturer New Era, will be releasing a series of Webisodes featuring artists such as Nelly, Linkin Park and N.E.R.D.
The free Webisodes, which are expected to be from five to seven minutes long, will focus on lifestyle questions such as "'What's on their Zune player?' 'What are they listening to?' and 'Where do they get their inspiration from?'" said Jen Yu, entertainment marketing manager for New Era, New York. They will be seen on the Zune marketplace and neweracap.com.
In addition to the Webisodes, artists and other celebrities such as UFC wrestler Rampage will design hats for New Era. Zune will then release custom players that feature the cap. Zune is hoping the artists will create additional content for the Webisodes.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine will appear July 10 at the Guitar Center in Hollywood, Calif., for an interview as part of the retailer's Sessions series. The event is free and open to the public.
Mustaine will answer questions from fans, discuss gear and offer his thoughts on the state of the music industry. Via a contest on Megadeth.com, one lucky fan can win airfare to Los Angeles for the session, plus a signed Dave Mustaine signature series DEAN guitar.
Megadeth's lone upcoming show is July 19 in Anaheim, Calif.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
The world's top cellphone maker Nokia and Warner Music Group have put aside their differences to bring the label's content to Nokia's Comes With Music initiative as well as Nokia's Ovi mobile music store.
The Comes With Music offer aims to add the cost of a year's music subscription into the cost of supported devices, allowing users to download as much music as they like in that time. The music won't go away at the end of the year, but cannot be transferred to new phones or other devices. Nokia's Ovi music service differs in that users buy tracks individually, with a copy made available for download to customers' computers as well.
WMG resisted licensing its music for the Ovi service (which is also the content delivery engine powering the Comes With Music service) due to concerns over other Nokia content initiatives. Specifically, WMG balked at a content sharing feature called MOSH, which allows users to share music and other content.
With this deal, those issues have been resolved, although no details are yet available as to how the two companies came to an agreement. The only major record label yet to join the Comes With Music agreement is EMI Music.
-- Antony Bruno, Denver