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Warner to put ad-supported video archive online

Company will create "digital hubs" that will make videos available to fans for free; version for mobile phones also planned.

Warner Music, the world's fourth-largest music group, is putting its archive of music video online and making it available for free to fans.

Warner, home to Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, will work with digital services provider Premium TV to create online TV sites or "digital hubs" that will be organized by artist, genre or label and funded by advertising.

The move follows the explosion in popularity of online video and is part of the music industry's drive to generate revenue from new sources to offset the fall in CD sales.

Warner said the platforms would show previously unseen footage and would eventually be available in different languages.

Revenue will be driven by advertising but music fans will be able to download the videos for an additional fee and Warner will also examine syndicating the content to a third party. The deal includes plans to develop subscription-based services and a version to be used on mobile platforms.

"This major new proposition in online TV represents a key step in our continued transformation," Patrick Vien, chairman and chief executive of Warner Music International said.

"These unique digital hubs will further enable us to monetize our content across the myriad of ever-developing ways that people enjoy music."

Earlier this month, Warner said it expected to shift resources to boost its digital distribution of music and video after it posted a wider quarterly loss.

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