TV shop net Maxmusic to bow

Musician John Oates and marketing guru J.W. Roth are jumping into the increasingly crowded home-shopping-channel fray by launching Maxmusic, a paid television series offering music and merchandise to viewers.

The two-hour series’ limited rollout is set for April 16 over the Jones Intercable Network, with plans to go wider in May. The series will be carried in key markets using the cabler’s 12 million household reach to hawk cassettes, CDs and music-related merchandise.

Each show will be advertiser sponsored, using hosts, music clips, live and taped interviews to capture viewer interest.

“The audience Maxmusic intends to reach is one of the most affluent yet underserved by television marketing,” asserted Roth, the series co-creator.

“These 25- to 54-year-old customers — the baby boomers — made the ’70s and ’80s the golden age of recorded music retailing and currently represent the largest buying group in the country,” he said.

Oates, part of the defunct pop duo Hall & Oates, called the service “a new concept for merchandising recording music. It also offers a chances to see and hear some of their favorite artists in a format currently unavailable elsewhere on television.”

Viewers calling the toll-free number will receive a music catalog containing additional items.

The service will also be carried on DTH, the direct-to-home satellite network , and negotiations are under way for airtime on E! Entertainment Television.

Roth’s background includes producing and directing several direct-response commercials, including “Learning With Milo,” an infomercial series teaching children manners.

Oates says he will divide his time between the program and his production deal with Sony Music, the first fruits of which will be the release from rap duo Sam & Max via Roughhouse Records and one from singer Jerry Lynn Williams, which Epic Records will release.

Maxmusic joins a growing list of players in the music-based home shopping marketplace.

In addition to the announced joint venture between Tele-Communications Inc. — the nations’ largest multisystem operator — and Bertelsmann Music Group to offer a musicvideo and home shopping channel, MTV recently unveiled plans to integrate home shopping into its programming. Florida-based MOR Music said it will launch five music-genre-specific channels offering merchandise and videos.

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