Verizon Sponsors New Web Channel for Music Videos

Next New Networks, the folks who introduced Obama Girl to the world, announced today that Verizon has signed on as the launch sponsor for its latest TV-on-the-Internet channel, $99 Music Videos.

The new online network will pair up independent bands with filmmakers to produce music videos for less than $100 in less than 24 hours. One new video will debut each week, along with behind-the-scenes footage providing a deeper look at how the video was made.

Tim Shey, cofounder and head of entertainment programming at Next New Networks, said Verizon will use its exclusive agreement with $99 Music Videos to promote its high-speed FIOS package.

“Music fans are a big audience for Verizon, because watching music videos is one of the most popular things people do online,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for them to position FIOS as a platform for fans, performers and music lovers.”

The sponsorship is a coup for Next New Networks as well, Shey said, because some advertisers are still hesitant to commit to a platform like $99 Music Videos, which is essentially a mix between Internet and network TV.

“For a company that does a lot of TV advertising and a lot of Internet advertising to be interested in a medium like this is a very big win for us and gives us a boost from day one” he said.

While Shey did not disclose the length of the agreement, he said that Verizon would have 100 percent share of voice on the network for “a pretty significant period of time.” And the sponsorship involves a fairly deep level of integration.

Each new video will contain a Verizon-branded bumper of 15 to 30 seconds, and messages throughout the network will position FIOS as the best way to view the network. The Verizon brand will also appear on the network’s YouTube channel in the form of overlay ads. Shey said Verizon would also be integrated into the network’s content.

All Verizon creative on the site will be customized for the medium; Shey said his team worked with Verizon to create the content.

“It’s not like TV where advertising is a distraction,” Shey said. “When you’re watching one of our videos, you’re really paying attention. We’ll have a really great, engaged audience, and they’ll be the only sponsor there.”

Next New Networks, which was founded in 2007 and is based in New York City, produces a number of “TV for the Internet” networks. Among them is Channel Federator, Barely Political (which created Obama Girl) and TMI Weekly, a show co-hosted by Time Out dating columnist Julia Allison.

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