Spears teams with America Online
By Porter Anderson
(CNN) -- Recording artist Britney Spears has entered a commercial agreement with America Online.
The arrangement is termed a "marketing alliance and brand partnership" in a statement issued by America Online, which, like CNN.com, is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner.
The intent of the deal between AOL and Spears, the statement reads, is "to promote Britney and her music, offer her popular content to AOL members and Web music fans and provide unique ways to interact with the star."
Among elements of the planned cross-promotional program between the singer and the Internet service:
- Chances to buy tickets to Spears' concerts before those tickets are offered to the general public. The tour begins on October 31 in Washington. Spears is donating $1 of the cost of each ticket sold on AOL, to benefit children of firefighters and police officers lost in the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Tickets to Spears' shows are on sale now at the AOL box office, accessible through key word "box office."
- Chances to see exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photos of Spears' tour, which supports her new, eponymous CD, scheduled for release on November 6.
- Various promotional events including opportunities for some of AOL's more-than 31 million members to attend sound-check parties and sit on stage during a concert.
- In addition, the site is to offer a downloadable Spears screensaver, skin for the Winamp player and a Spears radio station on Radio@AOL. Currently, members can view Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" video online at AOL. Spears content is found on the site via key word "Britney."
The company says there will be chances to hear Spears say "Welcome" and "You've got mail" and "Goodbye" -- in a number of languages -- when members log onto and off of the service. (Some 7 million AOL members access the site in eight languages from locations outside the United States.)
AOL software -- America Online has just issued AOL 7.0 -- is to be packaged with every domestically sold copy of Spears' new CD. And the singer's official site is to be co-branded with AOL, offering information on the Internet service and downloads of its software.
The Spears program is set up under the AOL Music division of the company's structure.
Spears delayed the start of her tour by five days to the last day of the month because of a case of flu, according to officials of Jive Records. The original start had been planned for Miami on October 26. Instead, the tour is now to close there, on December 19. An October 28 date originally planned for Tampa, Florida, has been rescheduled to December 18.
Newly added cities to the tour include East Rutherford, New Jersey; Atlanta; New Orleans, Louisiana; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
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