AOL Music to Promote Tonos Entertainment

Continuing Web publishers’ success in attracting big-name entertainment industry advertisers, AOL Time Warner’s America Online unit will promote the services of Tonos Entertainment.

Los Angeles-based Tonos — a music industry site founded by acclaimed songwriter/producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, award-winning lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, and renowned producer David Foster — offers subscription-based services for up-and-coming musicians.

Through the deal with AOL, Tonos will promote its products to America Online members. Specifically, the promotion will focus on Tonos’ services to connect aspiring musicians with record labels, radio stations and popular artists seeking new lyrics.

“The prominent exposure of Tonos on AOL Music enables us to introduce the Tonos brand to America Online’s 34 million members worldwide, ultimately helping Tonos attract new members to our subscription service,” said Tonos Chief Executive Justin Herz.

Tonos, which receives an AOL Keyword through the arrangement, will be promoted by way of ads on America Online’s music areas, as well as music areas of AOL Time Warner’s Web sites, which include CompuServe, Netscape.com, Spinner and Winamp,

Meanwhile, the two companies will develop contests and promotions exclusively for America Online members. The first such effort, the “Michael Jackson Songwriting Contest,” is slated to debut this week at AOL Keyword: Michael Jackson and Keyword: Tonos.

Through the promotion, America Online members will be encouraged to register for a chance to win an opportunity to write a song with Sager, Foster, and the King of Pop himself. The winning submission will be recorded by Jackson and other musicians, and could be released as part of an upcoming album, Tonos said, with proceeds going to charity.

Runner-ups in the contest will receive a membership to the site’s tonosPRO educational and music industry networking forum.

The deal continues the recent string of high-profile wins online publishers — as well as growing competition for clients. In addition to Tonos, AOL Time Warner’s recently organized AOL Music unit has handled new promotional work for teen sensations Britney Spears and *NSYNC, pop icon Madonna, and hip-hop mogul P. Diddy.

“As the leading online music destination, AOL Music is the ideal vehicle to extend the Tonos brand,” said Kevin Conroy, senior vice president and general manager of AOL Music. “We look forward to this alliance opening new doors for aspiring musicians and songwriters on AOL.”

AOL isn’t alone in the pitch to the entertainment industry, however. Rival Yahoo , with former Warner Bros. studio executive Terry Semel at the helm, has been staffing up to woo movie studios and record labels, and has seen its own share of successes. In March, the firm opened an office in Hollywood, headed by another Warner Bros. exec, James Moloshok. Recent wins include Twentieth Century Fox, Artisan Pictures, Disney and Warner Bros.

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