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Warner Music, AOL duet on marketing

Winamp, Spinner among those to be showcased

NEW YORK — In one of the first concrete efforts to wring synergies out of the recently consummated Time Warner-America Online megamerger, Warner Music Group on Wednesday unveiled a plan to cross-market its releases on AOL’s vast expanse of online real estate.

The move, timed to coincide with AOL Time Warner’s fourth-quarter earnings release, includes promotions on the Music & Entertainment channel of AOL’s flagship Internet-access service. The promos will include digital audio player company Winamp.com and Webcaster Spinner.com — both owned by AOL.

Artists to be showcased in the deal include Barenaked Ladies, Bjork, Brandy, the Corrs, Missy Elliott, Linkin Park, R.E.M. and Sugar Ray.

Among promotional goodies on offer will be digital downloads of songs from Warner artists that “time out,” or self-destruct, 30 days after they’ve been downloaded. AOL also will stream 30-second snippits of WMG videos, artist-branded Net radio stations, chats and online bulletin boards.

The two divisions also plan to use Warner’s CD releases as a vehicle to distribute the latest versions of AOL’s Net access software.

Initiative follows smaller-scale marketing drives from AOL and WMG prior to the merger’s completion, including a listening party and online chat to promote Madonna’s “Music” LP and an online promotion push for Matchbox Twenty’s “Mad Season.”

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