Fuse Courts MySpacers

Music-driven TV network Fuse launched a promo on MySpace to help it “find the next video star.”

Fuse hopes to coax unsigned bands and musicians who post multimedia content to MySpace to pass along their best video material in exchange for a shot at getting distribution on its VOD channel.

Along the way, Fuse hopes MySpacers will tune in to its programming.

“Audience acquisition is always on our minds,” said Joe Glennon, VP of distribution for Fuse. “The people we want to reach, they’re on sites like MySpace. We wanted to tap into the youth music scene they have.”

Brooklyn-based agency Deep Focus put together the promo, which consists of a Fuse profile at myspace.com/fuse that’s promoted via the MySpace homepage and banner placements around the site. MySpace users can add Fuse to their networks of friends, which creates a magnifying effect for the Fuse brand.

“We manage the profile and make sure we respond to people,” said Deep Focus’ Sabrina Caluori, who manages the Fuse account. “When people comment, we comment back. It’s great branding. There’s Fuse on their profile, and it continues the word of mouth.”

From now until November 4, contributors can upload one to three minutes of video for consideration. Judges from Fuse and Deep Focus will pick five finalists from these submissions, and visitors to the site will vote on them. The winner will receive “extensive airplay” and promotion on the Fuse VOD service.

Copy on the site reads, “One team of lucky bastards will have their video played on Fuse VOD. Submit your video before Nov. 4th. Then use that MySpace network to rally your friends, friends of friends, lovers, lovers’ friends and that strange guy from your last show to vote.”

Caluori said Deep Focus has produced campaign collateral that will be rolled out during the promo’s voting phase. “In the next stage it’ll really take off,” she said. “The bands have their own networks. [We’ve created] little 4×6 buttons that the bands and the fans of the bands can literally cut and paste into profiles.”

Additionally, Fuse cable affiliate Cox Communications gets play on the network’s MySpace profile. Fuse is currently in about six million homes, and aims to double that by the middle of next year.

“Some of them may not even have Fuse on their local cable provider,” said Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer. “The idea is not only to get awareness of the channel, but… that people are going to call up their local cable operator and say, ‘I want Fuse.'”

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