The first assignment is a test-marketing program that will be designed to draw consumers to the online service. The new agency's responsibility will be to develop a "significant offline ad push," Seth Oster, vice president of corporate communications for Pressplay.
Mr. Oster declined to discuss billings and said the review would be conducted in-house. He referred inquiries to Kara Bohnsack, Pressplay's senior director of marketing.
Decision expected in May
Information from agencies will be collected through March 14 with a decision expected May 15. Southern California shops are preferred, although others also will be considered, Mr. Oster said.
Pressplay, with offices in Los Angeles and New York, is a joint venture of Sony Music Entertainment and Vivendi Universal's Universal Music Group that launched in December 2001. The online service offers music from BMG, EMI Recorded Music, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group as well as independent labels. The service also allows customers to burn CDs or transfer music to portable devices. Subscribers also have access to 30 commercial-free radio stations and programming such as artist recommendations and interviews.
Pressplay has marketing relationships with Gateway, MP3.com, MSN Music, Windows Media Player, Roxio, Sony Musiclub, and Yahoo! Pressplay does online advertising on MSN, Yahoo! and others, some of it paid and some part of its marketing partnership agreements, Mr. Oster said.