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You call. You listen. You like. You buy.

That's the theme of MCI Communications Corp.'s $10 million-plus national radio, print, spot and TV campaign, breaking today for the new 1-800 MUSIC NOW service.

Ads from Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, New York, will appear in magazines including People, Rolling Stone and Spin; cable channels like Viacom's MTV: Music Televison and VH1: Video Hits One; local spot TV; and on about 100 radio stations in 30 markets with whom MCI has partnered to jointly promote the service, which is the first of its kind.

1-800 MUSIC NOW allows consumers to sample and buy from initially more than 5,000 (eventually more than 20,000) music titles over any touchtone telephone. Uni division, the distribution unit for MCA's music division, will fill the orders.

Similar to its introduction of 1-800-COLLECT in 1993, 1-800 MUSIC NOW stresses only the product name, without driving home the MCI brand.

On Nov. 20 MCI will launch a site on the World Wide Web ( where consumers can sample music in real time, make purchases online, hotlink to any of its partner radio stations and read music-related stories and features by Entertainment Weekly.

"We're not just launching a new product or service," said Angela Dunlap, MCI's president of marketing. "We're establishing a new category for music retailing."

The music retailing industry had about $12 billion in revenues in 1994 and is growing 12.5% annually, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Purchases via trips to the local music store decreased dramatically from 1990 to 1994 (from 69.8% to 53.3%), while purchases via other venues have increased.

"People have very little time and are willing to place a premium on convenience," said MCI's John Donoghue, VP-consumer marketing.

The communications company plans this December to sell CD collections of the Beatles and Frank Sinatra inside its Friends & Family billing statements. MCI also plans to offer a free CD for every certain number of dollars spent on long distance and create other comarketing promotions.

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