Volkswagen Ad Music Drives Onto Internet

Car company Volkswagen has launched a Web radio station, Billboard Bulletin reports. The 24-hour service, at radiovw.com, features music with "the variety and eclecticism featured in the Volkswagen te

Car company Volkswagen has launched a Web radio station, Billboard Bulletin reports. The 24-hour service, at radiovw.com, features music with "the variety and eclecticism featured in the Volkswagen television campaign," according to a statement. Encoding and streaming services are by Brattleboro, Vt.-based Websound, which claims to have licenses with all five major and hundreds of indie labels. Websound also provides a link to CDnow for instant purchases.

In addition to the radio station, Volkswagen is selling a 12-track compilation of music from its ads, "Street Mix: Volume 1," at vw.com and selected dealerships. Produced by Websound sister company Rock River Communications, the $12 CD includes Nick Drake's "Pink Moon," Trio's "Da Da Da," Styx's "Mr. Roboto," and Charles Mingus' "II BS," among others.

Volkswagen's use of "Pink Moon" sparked a particularly strong resurgence in sales for the 1972 Hannibal album of the same name. U.S. sales of the album soared from 6,000 copies in 1999 to 74,000 copies in 2000, according to SoundScan; this year, the set has moved 24,000 units. Drake died in 1974 at age 26 of a suspected accidental prescription drug overdose.