ABC Music Lounge: No cocktails, but nonstop music

May 07, 2009 LYNN ELBER , AP Television Writer

(AP) -- Cocktails won't be served, but ABC says a new online "music lounge" will offer a full menu of songs and artists featured on its shows.

The virtual ABC Lounge is aimed at making the most of the tunes included on "Grey's Anatomy," "Desperate Housewives" and other programs, the network said Thursday.

The Web site offers a streaming "radio station" playing 200-plus singers and bands whose songs have been heard on ABC, Web pages for featured artists and a link for online song purchases.

Music videos, exclusive performance footage and interviews with artists and show producers also are on the site.

"This is way to bring all the music of ABC into one place, to allow people to find and enjoy it," said Michael Benson, ABC executive vice president for marketing.

Artists showcased on the new site include Adele, the Fray, Lenka, Anya Marina, Joshua Radin and Rilo Kiley.

ABC Music Lounge's scheduled Thursday debut was to coincide with 100th episode of "Grey's Anatomy." To mark the occasion, the Web site offered a retrospective of the music featured throughout the drama's run.

Other TV networks highlight on-air music on their Web sites, but ABC said its goal is to offer the most "robust" destination. The Music Lounge is another measure of the growing importance of television to the music industry, ABC executives said.

"There's been so much talk about CD sales declining. That doesn't mean the use of music and demand for music is declining," said Peter DiCecco, ABC senior vice president of business and legal affairs for music. "People always want a venue to find music. TV is that venue."

ABC also is taking on the "important responsibility" of helping to launch new artists in a changing music industry, said Dawn Soler, ABC vice president for TV music.

According to the network, sales of the Fray's "How To Save A Life" jumped nearly 300 percent after playing in an episode of "Grey's Anatomy," while digital downloads of Lenka's "Trouble Is A Friend" also jumped after it was included on the show.

The network is working with Epic Records and other labels to create a new business model that provide for revenue-sharing and help reduce license fees for the use of music on TV, Benson said.

---

On the Net:

http://www.abc.go.com

http://www.ABCMusicLounge.com

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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