(New York, NY – October 21, 2004) – Fuse, the nation's only all-music, viewer-influenced television network, and AG Interactive, the new media subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation, announced their intention to jointly develop, distribute and market the first-ever interactive music experience, delivering content through virtually all communication platforms in the U.S.
The alliance represents a unique opportunity for U.S. wireless carriers, handset manufacturers and advertisers to tap into Fuse's powerful audience of tech-savvy young adults, the fastest growing segment driving the exploding wireless marketplace. It also signals the strategic extension of Fuse's convergent music programming philosophy that has made it the leading network in concentration of 12-34 year-old viewers and number one among mobile phone-owning teens.
"Fuse is a network that has been built from the ground up with convergence as its foundation, not an afterthought," said Corey Silverman, Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales for Fuse. "This extension creates entire new platforms for our marketing and advertising partners to connect in a meaningful way with Fuse viewers and music fans."
"This signals the creation of the first seamless interactive experience, merging television, wireless and Internet platforms," notes Josef Mandelbaum, President and Chief Executive Officer, AG Interactive. "Fuse has quickly established itself among both viewers and music artists as the only true all-music television network, so we will truly be connecting with in-the-know music fans where they live, work and play by giving them multiple channels to receive the hottest new music and product offerings."
One such example already in place is Fuse's "Daily Download" television show, where viewers are rewarded with a special word of the day — called the "D" word — which they plug into the Fuse website receiving free, legal music downloads for their PCs, and soon ringtones and wallpapers for their mobile phones.
To drive the promotion to a broader audience, Fuse and AG Interactive partnered with Tower Records to engage consumers through their U.S. retail storefronts and leading online presence. The "Daily Download" promotions feature on-air appearances by acclaimed recording artists, such as Usher, Metallica, Eminem with D12 and Good Charlotte, giving Fuse viewers access to the artists' music through free downloads to their computers and wireless phones. It also gives consumers access to other unique content through television offers, the Internet and music retail.
"The interactivity and excitement of viewer participation of a television program promoting music and digital delivery through mobile phones and the Internet is a great experience for the music fan," said Bob Kaufman, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Tower Records. "Tower Records is proud to be the retail and digital delivery part of this partnership and has plans to do more such collaborations with AG Interactive and Fuse in support of our digital download and subscription service."
By year's end, Fuse plans to explore wireless applications for all of the network's original interactive programs. Some potential features in development include music video dedications, photoblogs, text messaging, voting and polling, video game demos, music news alerts, local market concert and event updates, and special promotions.
In just 18 months, Fuse has developed major mindshare as the only all-music venue on the television landscape, challenging the mainstream music television establishment. Since its formation earlier this year, AG Interactive has consistently aligned itself with key pop cultural powerhouses. Already, AG Interactive has established wireless content partnerships with Def Jam®, the seminal hip hop lifestyle brand and Univision? the major Hispanic music and television destination.
About AG Interactive
AG Interactive, the new media subsidiary of American Greetings Corporation, is the leading provider of cross platform self and social expression products and services. AG Interactive operates four business units including AGmobile (the Wireless Division), AG Ventures (Email & Instant Messaging Division), AG.com (the Internet Division), and AG International (the European Division). Its branded products include the network of sites including AmericanGreetings.com, BlueMountain.com, BlueMountainCards.co.uk, Egreetings.com, Beatgreets.com and MIDIRingTones.com as well Univision Movil?, Def Jam Mobile?, and Fuse. Together, AG has a subscriber base of over 2 million paying consumers and over 100 million unique visitors per year.
American Greetings Corporation is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.
Fuse, a network of Cablevision Systems Corporation, is the nation's only all-music, viewer-influenced television network, featuring music videos, exclusive artist interviews, live concerts and specials — all rooted in the music experience. Fuse reflects the rapidly changing interests and attitudes of its 12-34 year-old audience by uniting the media platforms that are at the center of their communication and entertainment – TV, online, and interactive games – and by incorporating their opinions and suggestions into its on-air and online programming. More information and artwork for Fuse is available at www.fuse.tv/press.
This release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including financial community and rating agency perceptions of the company and its business, operations, financial condition and the industry in which it operates and the factors described in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the sections entitled "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" contained therein. The company disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained herein.