Warner Music Group in Deal with Hulu

Warner Music Group on Tuesday announced a deal with Hulu, the free, ad-supported broadband video venture co-owned by The Walt Disney Company (ABC), NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox). According to the company, the deal--which follows a deal between Hulu and EMI Music that was announced last month (see the article published on itvt.com, November 18th)--will see it providing Hulu with music videos, artist interviews, live concert coverage and behind-the-scenes footage from its various artists and labels (note: WMG's labels include Atlantic Records, Rhino Records and Warner Bros. Records).

The first Warner Bros. recording artists to be featured on Hulu under the new deal are the band Muse: Hulu has launched a Muse "artist page" that features the band's appearance on the December 19th holiday edition of "Saturday Night Live," as well as content from performances the band gave at London's Wembley Stadium, exclusive interviews, and what Warner Bros. calls "rare deep-catalog videos." Hulu also plans to launch artist pages for Atlantic's Jason Mraz and Fueled By Ramen's/Atlantic's Paramore in the coming weeks, and is expected to announce additional artist pages in early 2010. "We're pleased to be working with Hulu as we expand our premium ad-supported video strategy to provide our artists with a customized and flexible approach to marketing and monetizing their music, by leveraging the most powerful partnerships and platforms in the industry," Michael Nash, Warner Music Group's EVP of digital strategy and business development, said in a prepared statement. "Hulu has been a leader and innovator in this space, and we look forward to working with them on creating compelling, content-rich artist channels that will provide a dynamic experience to their fans, while introducing our artists to new audiences online."

Its deals with Warner Music Group and EMI arguably position Hulu as a (so far, at least, relatively minor) rival to Vevo, the music video joint venture between YouTube, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Abu Dhabi Media, that went live earlier this month (note: WMG was for a long time engaged in a music licensing dispute with YouTube).

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