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Conglom puts spin on in-store promotion

Wal-Mart is ramping up its in-store promotions for recorded music with an exclusive video show titled “Wal-Mart Soundcheck.”

The original music performance series is being launched today with Capitol act Yellowcard and Sony Music’s Switchfoot. Wal-Mart will create 30- to 40-minute in-studio performances and interviews that are unveiled every two or three weeks on the HDTV wall in Wal-Mart electronics departments. Several two- to three-minute sneak previews of each perf will air regularly nationwide in more than 3,000 stores. Premieres will take place on Friday nights.

Wal-Mart Soundcheck is designed to show emerging and superstar musicians and bands performing four to six songs in a studio setting.

“This expands our ability to work with labels and artists,” said Kevin Swint, division merchandising manager for digital media. “It’s a byproduct of (conversations with labels) regarding how we support artists and who resonates with the Wal-Mart customers.

“The emphasis is on national appeal, but it would be exciting to target regional markets later on. It’s something to look into.”

Wal-Mart is working with the labels and production teams to create the content. Whether that content gets a secondary use, such as a DVD release, has not been decided.

Full performances and interviews are available to stream online at Walmart.com at no cost. Audio tracks of the performances can be downloaded for 88¢ each.

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