CBS Launches New Label To Get Music Onto TV And Into iTunes

Dec 15th, 2006 | By | Category: Digital Music, Video

CBS is launching a new music label, with its focus on building awareness for CBS Records’ artists and songs by integrating music into CBS television series and getting artists into iTunes.

CBS Records plans to build a roster of artists from the ranks of independent musicians who write and perform their own songs, with an initial focus on digital distribution of their content. In addition to the iTunes Store, the music will be offered through, as well as through agreements with other online and wireless providers. CBS Records will also offer physical distribution through partnerships with outside companies.

“CBS is one of the most powerful entertainment brands in the world, and music represents a natural and complementary extension of our content assets,” said CEO Les Moonves. “With more consumers choosing the online download model as the preferred way to purchase their favorite songs, we have an opportunity to use our unique and broad collection of media platforms to create a new music label paradigm for a small price of admission.”

“The marriage of television and music with CBS Records offers tremendous creative and commercial potential for everyone,” said Nancy Tellem, President, CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group. “Our artists will have access to an incredibly powerful medium (television) to drive music sales; our television producers will have greater flexibility to use music as a creative enhancement in their shows; and our Company will be able to reduce the Network and studio’s music licensing cost center while transforming it into a new revenue stream.”

CBS Records will use the marketing reach of the Corporation’s portfolio of mass media platforms to promote its music and talent directly to millions of consumers.

  • Music from CBS Records will be included in primetime entertainment
    series on the CBS Television Network’s top-rated schedule, as well as on
    shows broadcast across all day parts.
  • Artists and songs will be incorporated into programs produced by CBS
    Paramount Television, which supplies programming to the broadcast, basic
    and pay cable television networks.
  • Artists and their music will be available to programs on CBS’s sister
    network The CW, which features some of television’s most popular shows
    with young viewers, including “America’s Next Top Model”; and on
    CBS-owned Showtime, a leading premium cable network with cutting-edge
    programming such as “Weeds” and “Dexter.”
  • Music videos and other music-related content will be streamed on CBS’s
    broadband channel “innertube,” which offers a wide range of free content
    to Internet users.
  • Music videos, artist performances and music from CBS Records that is
    integrated into television programming will also be showcased as part of
    CBS’s content and marketing partnerships with YouTube, and other digital
    outlets, as well as on wireless carriers.
  • CBS Records will draw upon the Company’s extensive reach to college
    students through the CSTV Networks, which includes websites for 240
    colleges across the country and 100 broadband channels.

“We will continue to work closely with our friends and colleagues at the other labels to put their music and artists in our television shows in all day parts,” said Jack Sussman, Executive Vice President, Specials, Music and Live Events, CBS Entertainment. “With CBS Records, we also have the ability to discover and develop new musical talent, deliver their content to the consumer, and provide them exposure on all of our various media platforms, including the biggest stage of all — network television.”

CBS Records will be launched primarily utilizing the existing infrastructure of CBS Entertainment and CBS Interactive. It will operate as a newly created unit within the Entertainment division based in Los Angeles, reporting to Tellem.

CBS Records has a long history dating back to 1938. Over the next 50 years, the company’s labels were home to some of the greatest artists in the history of recorded music, including Aerosmith, Tony Bennett, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Earth, Wind & Fire, Billie Holiday, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, and many more. In 1988, CBS Records was acquired by Sony, and a few years later, its assets were integrated into Sony Music Entertainment.

Sources: CBS & Marketwatch

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