P&G Tunes Up Housework Soundtrack

Procter & Gamble is putting its online marketing muscle behind digital music, offering downloads to its 7 million strong Home Made Simple community. The technology behind the new initiative, called Julie’s Jukebox, is provided by PassAlong Networks.

Financial details of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

P&G has begun promoting the new $0.99 song downloads via its Home Made Simple email newsletter, whose content normally covers topics like dusting electronics, getting out stains and home decorating. Songs, grouped in themed “showcases,” are displayed next to matching editorial content. For example, an article called “Keeping Everyone Happy at the Table” is accompanied by songs like Dolly Parton’s “Hungry Again,” and Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Procter and Gamble has gone back through its archives and added musical “showcases” to every article on its Web site.

“This is really about providing a collection of music as a soundtrack for our life experiences,” said Dave Jaworski, co-founder and CEO of PassAlong Networks. “Home Made Simple covers everything from tips for a great backyard barbecue to holiday party tips. Our soundtracks that go with each of these are designed to complement the editorial.”

PassAlong’s technology enables users to buy music and to share it with friends, either via email or through an instant messaging client. If these friends buy the suggested music, the original person is rewarded with points they can redeem for songs.

“This new initiative takes our online strategy one step further by incorporating digital music and the unique community features offered by PassAlong Networks into an existing online relationship with our consumers,” said Maurice Coffey, a brand manager for Procter & Gamble, in a statement.

Home Made Simple, like many packaged goods efforts, is aimed at a wide swath of women — anyone who maintains a household. That’s “anyone from newly married, to someone that has children, to a empty nester,” said Jaworski.

PassAlong also provides digital music stores for eBay and the Musicland Group, parent of the Sam Goody retail chain. Its more than 1 million songs are in rights-protected Windows Media format and can be burned onto CDs or played on many digital music devices, excluding Apple’s popular iPod.

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