Through a six-month in-store and online program, Dennis Publishing's Blender will offer Best Buy customers its recommendations for music, DVDs and video games. Dennis executives hope the partnership -- a first for both the magazine and the retailer -- will expose Blender to a wider audience, while Best Buy hopes to steer its customers to products they might not otherwise notice.
"This alliance with Blender is another compelling way that we can help expose our customers to new music and generate excitement about entertainment," Ed Hogan, senior buyer for music at Best Buy, said in a release.
Over 600 Best Buy stores now feature "Blender Approved" sections, where editors of the magazine recommend new music every month. Each pick features a Blender-stylized review explaining why the CD is a "best buy."
"We're a trusted brand name that could lead people to buy CDs that are not top 30 on the charts," said Lee Rosenbaum, Blender publisher. Having that trust is "where we want to be," he said.
The partnership will also give the magazine the chance to help developing artists get good placement in retail stores, something not all labels have the budget to do. And that's sure to elevate Blender's standing with the labels, which regularly buy ad space in the magazine.
"Anything I can do to help inspire sales for lesser known labels, that's a good thing," Mr. Rosenbaum said.
New albums from Joan Jett, the Dixie Chicks, Def Leppard, Christina Milian and Tears for Fears are among the 16 highlighted discs that are "Blender approved" this month. In addition to Best Buy stores, the CDs are also highlighted on BestBuy.com, which receives over 20 million unique visitors a month.
When Blender's August issue hits newsstands July 18, the partnership will expand to the month-long "Back to School Cool" program geared toward returning college students. The issue will include a special advertising section featuring gaming, theatrical and music software available at Best Buy. The promotion will also be available in-store as a guide and on the retailer's website.
A second month-long program will launch Sept. 10 featuring "Blender approved" software handpicked by the magazine's editors.