Fuse, N.Y. Station Team on Hip-Hop Show

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Music-video service Fuse is teaming with Emmis Broadcasting Corp.-owned New York radio station Hot 97 (WQHT-FM) to develop a hip-hop fashion show to air on the network in March, part of a unique partnership between the music service and the radio station.

The deal comes on the heels of Fuse's recent foray into video-on-demand, with a launch in several Comcast Corp. systems.

The March 2 event will feature hip-hop inspired designers like Sean John, Phat Farm, Akademiks and Enyce, as well as musical performances, said Fuse president Mark Juris. The two entities will also team this summer to sponsor Hot 97's popular "Summer Jam" hip-hop concert, which Fuse will air as part of a special event in August.

Fuse aired last year's Summer Jam, which featured such artists as 50 Cent, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, Nelly and Lil' Kim. The two events will be co-branded and aggressively marketed via affiliate events, street team marketing, print advertising in local media, cross-channel spots and special on-air content and promotions on Fuse and Hot 97.

Emmis New York vice president of sales and marketing Matt Ross said in a statement that the agreement will bring greater national exposure to the radio station: "There is no other network that better understands and delivers the experience and excitement of Hot 97's brand to a national audience."

While the network initially chose to work with Hot 97, Juris said the partnership could extend to other Emmis-owned stations. The agreement provides both companies with additional promotional and marketing opportunities that otherwise would not be available, he added.

"We really look to find partners in different media outlets where we can both bring a very different set of assets to the table, and radio is a great way for a local media outlet to expand their media and brand through us," Juris said.

The partnership should also help both entities draw top musical acts that want to take advantage of the radio-and-TV crosspromotional opportunities.

"For an artist looking to sell records, it adds that much more power to the TV support we can give," Juris said. "The partnership gives a richer, deeper more important package to help sell records."

Seeking to further extend its brand, Juris said the network recently launched a music video VOD service in several Comcast systems, although he would not name specific markets.

The free VOD service features 75 current music videos from various music genres, 30% of which are refreshed every two weeks. The videos will be edited to meet basic-cable standards, unlike the subscription services planned by upstart networks Hype TV and Universal Music Group's 1 a.m. which plan to air uncut, uncensored videos.

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