CBS Promotes Last.fm with TV, Music Tie-Ins

CBS is preparing a new cross-platform promotion that aims to boost traffic to its music site, Last.fm. The tie-in with new original TV series “Swingtown” comes as the online music service embraces a distributed audience model it’s calling “Last.fm in a box.” That new approach will push a widgetized version of the streaming music service out to sites and platforms such as Bebo, Billboard.com, WordPress, and iGoogle.

Beginning tomorrow, some songs from the new series “Swingtown,” which celebrates 1970s-era promiscuity, will be made available on Last.fm after their broadcast. Broadcast viewers will see a so-called “eyeliner plug” at the bottom of the screen while hearing songs from the likes of David Bowie, The Commodores, and Captain & Tennille.

CBS acquired Last.fm last year, and since then has engaged in similar promotions linked to several live events, including a recent tie-in with a Garth Brooks concert and one with the upcoming Lollapalooza festival. Under the latter deal, Last.fm will power Lolla Radio, which will stream tracks from Radiohead, Kanye West, and Rage Against The Machine, among others. With each promotion the Last.fm site has seen a bump in traffic from the advance promotion and call-outs during those events.

“It’s a unique cross-promotion that is entirely organic to the show, and provides our viewers a new way to engage with our programming while bringing new exposure to Last.fm,” said George Schweitzer, president, CBS Marketing Group in a statement.

The move comes as CBS seeks to diversify its online programming initiatives that leverage its television content to grow reach in various ways. This morning, CBS separately entered a distribution relationship with Yahoo, under which CBS’s entertainment catalog will be carried on Yahoo TV, which also has programming from Fox, NBC, and numerous cable networks.

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