Thursday, June 11, 2009

ABC Daytime & SOAPnet's Multi-Faceted Music Strategy

Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney ABC Television Group, today announced ABC Daytime and SOAPnet's multi-faceted music strategy, including its first national tour sponsorship with multi-platinum Country music superstar Sara Evans. Hailed as a key promotional platform and a way to reach highly engaged women, the Daytime Division's new approach is an outgrowth of highly successful in-show music performances. The new strategy includes sponsoring music concert tours, integrated in-show performances and on-air campaigns, including musician interviews and integration of songs in on and off-air marketing campaigns.

"This expanded approach builds on our ability to connect our dedicated fans with new music as well as reach new audiences. The strategy is an expansion of a very successful initiative that ONE LIFE TO LIVE Executive Producer Frank Valentini and Supervising Music Director Paul Glass began years ago by weaving in-show music performances from some of today's hottest stars like Pussycat Dolls, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg," said Frons.

"We know through research and our past experiences that Country music is one of several popular music categories among our fan base," said Adam Rockmore, senior vice president, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet Marketing. "The benefit of sponsoring events like Sara Evans' multi-city tour and integration into events like the CMA Music Festival is twofold: First, we are able to super-serve our daytime fans, and second, we gain exposure and credibility with a whole new audience, ultimately enabling us to grow our viewership."

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A first for ABC Daytime and SOAPnet, the networks have signed on as the presenting sponsor of Sara Evans' nationwide summer tour. As part of the Soap Nation Tour, an ongoing initiative to bring stars to more fans in more cities more often, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet will execute on-site events in key markets with soap talent, as well as maintain a presence at all Evans' tour stops and offer affiliate promotional opportunities. The on-site events will include autograph signings, meet and greets and give-aways. Tapping into the ability to leverage the strength of the Daytime unit, Evans will also perform at the "ABC All Star Block Party" at the CMA Music Festival on June 13 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.

In addition to Evan's performance, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet will have a large presence at the CMA Music Festival. Talent from all three soaps, ALL MY CHILDREN, ONE LIFE TO LIVE and GENERAL HOSPITAL, will be integrated into the "ABC All Star Block Party" and will sign autographs, play games, participate in Q&A's and introduce performances. AMC's Cameron Mathison will host the weekend festivities and will be joined by his co-star, Bobbie Eakes; Kassie DePaiva, Bree Williamson and Kathy Brier from ONE LIFE TO LIVE and Bradford Anderson, Brandon Barash, Rebecca Herbst, Kimberly McCullough, Greg Vaughan and Laura Wright from GENERAL HOSPITAL will also participate.

Also this month, ABC Daytime and SOAPnet will be a sponsor of Country Fest in Cadott, WI, headlined by Taylor Swift. Daytime stars including ALL MY CHILDREN's Aiden Turner, Chrishell Stause and Bobbie Eakes, ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Bree Williamson and Scott Clifton and GENERAL HOSPITAL's Bradford Anderson will be onsite each day for the festivities.

ONE LIFE TO LIVE has tapped Lionel Richie and Jeremih as the next act to be incorporated into the storyline. They will be performing Lionel Richie's hit single, "Just Go," off his latest release by the same title and will tape on June 12. ONE LIFE TO LIVE has a long and successful history of integrating live performances into the show by artists including Mary J. Blige, Lifehouse, Snoop Dogg, Pussycat Dolls, Timbaland and Plain White T's, among others. Following their appearances on "One Life to Live," many acts saw upticks in album sales anywhere from 11%-40%.

Recently ABC Daytime and SOAPnet joined forces with sister-company Lyric Street Records to premiere Love and Theft's new song, "World Wide Open," in an on and off-air marketing campaign for ALL MY CHILDREN. The campaign aired on ABC and SOAPnet in addition to other national cable channels, including ABC Family, CMT, E!, Oxygen and WE. Other artists who've been featured in marketing campaigns include Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, The Bravery, Nikka Costa, Shawn Hlookoff, Anna Nalick, Lesley Roy, Grace Potter, Jesica Andrews and Josh Gracin. ABC Daytime and SOAPnet continue to look to partner with other performers in similar ways.

As part of the networks' ongoing music initiative, ABC recently launched the ABC Music Lounge on, which provides users with an interactive online music experience that is uniquely ABC. Reflective of the network's commitment to using digital platforms to deepen its relationship with viewers, the ABC Music Lounge showcases everything about the music and artists featured on ABC's popular primetime schedule, offering a deep catalog of music-related content. The site features a streaming radio station programmed with over 12 hours of music from such ABC series as BROTHERS & SISTERS, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, GREY'S ANATOMY, PRIVATE PRACTICE and UGLY BETTY, among others. Visitors to the site can get a glimpse of ABC's music future, as the radio station also showcases new music picked by series producers, music supervisors and others involved in the music selection process for shows that have previously seen tremendous success. In addition to a streaming radio station, the ABC Music Lounge is home to music videos, exclusive performance footage, photos and behind-the-scenes interviews with artists, series producers and music supervisors on topics such as "why certain songs were chosen for specific scenes" and "how having their music featured within a show affected their careers."

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