Horsham, Pa. -- Now that Music Choice has hit a
"critical-mass" penetration level of 4.5 million cable and direct-broadcast
satellite homes, the digital-audio service has begun selling sponsorships on its original
The service will not air commercials, but it will mention
advertisers in its consumer magazine, mike, as well as in billstuffers and video
"We anticipate that this will be a fundamental part of
our revenue stream over the next five years," said Dave Del Beccaro, president and
CEO of Music Choice.
He did not specify exactly how much sponsors are paying to
Initial sponsors include BMG, Geffen Records and DreamWorks
SKG, but Del Beccaro said executives have met with consumer-products companies, too.
Del Beccaro said he was doubtful that his service would
cannibalize ad revenue from video services like MTV: Music Television
"We're totally different services ... MTV is a
much more visual experience," he said.
The majority of Music Choice channels -- 29 out of 31 in
the analog environment and 39 out of 41 in digital tiers -- will remain talk- and
commercial-free, the company said.