Deals aims to promote emerging artists

USA Network and Yahoo have pacted to develop and promote emerging music artists.

Deal — the latest example of networks seeking new ways to limit music-licensing costs — will have Yahoo using its popular LaunchCast online radio service to identify indie and unsigned artists generating heat via user streams. USA will then sign those artists to a deal that will let the cabler “integrate” their music into various USA programming.

Goal is to turn relatively unknown acts into hotter commodities, while supplying USA with a potentially cheaper source of music for its skeins and on-air marketing. Similar idea is behind the Eye’s recent revival of CBS Records.

Spencer Proffer of Meteor 17 will oversee the development of the Yahoo-USA artists.

Chris McCumber, senior VP of marketing and brand strategy for USA, said the pact “has the potential to create a new model for the way musical artists are discovered and developed.”

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