HITS Daily Double
″The growth opportunity we're most excited about comes from our relationship with AOL Time Warner.″
—–WMG Chairman and CEO Roger Ames


″AOL Music″ To Compete With MTV, VH1 –
By Playing Videos, That Is
AOL Time Warner announced on Friday (3/26) that it plans to launch a cable TV music channel to directly compete with MTV and VH1, according to MSNBC.com.

The channel, likely to be called AOL Music, is expected to be launched by the end of the year or early 2002. The timing of the launch is planned to avoid other major events—such as the World Series in October—although, according to MSNBC.com, AOL is looking into buying a Super Bowl ad to promote the new channel.

The new channel will likely be run by Jamie Kellner, chief executive of AOLTW's Turner Broadcasting Group. Earlier this month, AOLTW merged its broadcast and cable networks under Kellner, the founder and chairman of the company's WB network.

In addition to competing against Viacom's one-two punch of MTV and VH1, the proposed AOL Music channel would also serve to solidify AOLTW's plans to combine its music, broadcast and computer properties.

The company would likely use the music channel to promote Warner Music artists, MSNBC.com reported, while using its AOL computer service to offer chats with the bands and downloads of the songs. The company hopes fans will watch AOL Music for videos, then subscribe to AOL so they can chat with the band and have exclusive access to downloads, then go to the store to buy the CD.

"The growth opportunity we're most excited about comes from our relationship with AOL Time Warner," WMG Chairman and CEO Roger Ames said at the company's Investor Day in January. "No other company can offer all the promotional and marketing opportunities that we can. The vast resources of this organization allows us to promote our artists on several different platforms, via soundtracks, movies, through magazines and on the broadcast and cable networks. And now to add to that we can also market and distribute our artists on AOL, as AOL develops its music strategy."