A major record label has struck a new social networking deal -- with a teen-targeting twist. Universal Music Group (UMG) is partnering with teen-friendly site Kiwibox to create a new streaming service, the two companies will announce this morning.
The deal will make thousands of UMG artist videos available for free on Kiwibox.com. The media will be ad-supported, with artists getting a share of the revenue. (The specific percentages are not being released.) Current UMG artists include Jay-Z, The Killers, Snow Patrol, and Kanye West.
Kiwibox, purchased by Magnitude Information Systems in 2007, combines interactive social features with both professionally written and user-generated content, all in a magazine-style layout. The site saw a major makeover in August, which included the debut of an expanded internal video section. The new service -- fittingly set to be titled "Kiwibox Music Videos" -- will launch before the end of the year and will be integrated with the existing content.
Will the offering draw users over from existing streaming services such as Imeem and the recently launched MySpace Music? Probably not. But for its own devoted base of teen and pre-teen users, the option is sure to add a nice layer of functionality to an already robust site -- not to mention the additional avenue of exposure it'll provide for the artists always vying to reach that very demographic.