Fremantle, Fluid Audio ink online deal on 'American Idol Underground'

MUMBAI: FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas (FLW, Americas), the US licensing division of FremantleMedia, co-producer and licensor of American Idol, and Fluid Audio Networks, has announced the launch of the first ever online incarnation of American Idol -- American Idol Underground.

American Idol Underground will bring American Idol to an Internet audience by offering talent competitions in a number of different music genres, including pop, rock, country, R&B, classical, jazz, spoken word and rap. The announcement was made at Licensing Show 2005 in New York, states the press release.

The American Idol Underground website, which will launch later this year, will be powered by Fluid Audio's proprietary self-publishing software. The musicians will directly upload their music to one of thirteen genre specific music channels for review by internet listeners and celebrity judges.



Fluid Audio Networks CEO and founder Justin Beckett says, "After developing the technology our main objective was partnering with the premier entertainment brands; American Idol represents the holy grail of entertainment brands and FremantleMedia's support has been fantastic. Whether they're looking for a recording contract or just to get their music heard, this service will give musicians from every genre the platform to reach the masses like only American Idol can."

FLW Americas VP, Integrated Marketing and Interactive Keith Hindle said, "Fluid Audio is providing an entirely new format for aspiring American Idols to make their dream a reality. We anticipate that American Idol Underground will become one of the most talked-about online services and a highly trafficked site in the coming year."

FremantleMedia, the co-producer and licensor of American Idol, would be announcing that the details of developing the American Idol as a lifestyle brand.

The annual Licensing show, -- Licensing 2005 International, which gets underway at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, will see leading retailers, consumer product manufacturers, promotions and marketing strategists will congregate to discover the latest trend-setting properties.



International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) president Charles Riotto said, "In today's competitive marketplace, the value of licensing cannot be measured in just actual dollars and cents. Enhanced brand awareness is a bonus to its impact on the bottom line as a lucrative source of revenue.

"The continually growing roster of properties featured at the Licensing Show demonstrates the strength of licensing as a powerful, cost effective and profitable tool in the marketing mix."

According to a media release, an exhibitor roster featuring the biggest names in entertainment, including four kids entertainment, Disney, MGM, New Line Cinema, DreamWorks SKG, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Universal Studios Consumer Products, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and more.

Other, high-profile consumer brands such as Lysol, LEGO, Procter & Gamble, Jeep, McDonald's, H.J. Heinz, Kellogg's, Ford, Mattel, Hasbro, Campbell Soup Company, Time Inc., The New York Times, Timex, Crayola, Pepsi, Rubbermaid, The Stanley Works, Harley-Davidson and more.



Entertainment, being the largest category in licensing, the release adds that the latest blockbusters, much has been made in the last few years of the franchising of the movie business with such multiple successes as Shrek, Spiderman, and Lord of the Rings, the trend continues. With the newest installments of Batman and Superman movies, another trend capitalizes on such retro classics as Archie (Miramax), Pink Panther (MGM), King Kong, Curious George (Universal Studios) and Bewitched (Sony Pictures). All of the major film studios are returning this year to showcase their hottest new and classic properties.

In the sports category, beyond the major leagues, some of today's fastest growing sports are represented on the show floor including soccer's AC Milan and the Fifa World Cup 2006, represented by Warner Bros. Consumer Products; Tour de France, represented by Amaury Sport Oganisation; and two of the nation's fastest growing sports, NASCAR and Professional Bull Riders; as well as the 500 Home Run Club representing baseball's elite including Hank Aaron, Reggie Jackson, Ernie Banks and more.

New to dealing with the licensing industry and represented at the show are the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. And in the area of sports entertainment World Wrestling Entertainment makes a return engagement.

Licensing 2005 International is sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association, the worldwide trade association for the licensing industry, serving as the global advocate for the business of licensing.

The trade show kicked off on 21 June 2005 and concludes tomorrow 23 June 2005.

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