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Yahoo, Sony team up in online push

Moving to line up major corporate advertisers, the Net bellwether announces an extensive marketing alliance with the electronics and entertainment giant.

    In its continuing push to line up major corporate advertisers, Yahoo on Tuesday announced an extensive marketing alliance with electronics and entertainment giant Sony.

    The multiyear agreement calls on the two companies to create a joint Web site and a portal focused on Sony products, including electronic devices and online games, and to promote Sony's artistic content across Yahoo's network of sites. Sony will lean on the online giant for its expertise in areas such as Internet communications, management of customer relations and personalization, the companies said.

    Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    In many ways, the deal reflects the benefits touted by AOL Time Warner since its merger at the beginning of the year. The media titan's movies and magazines are hyped on the AOL Internet service, a rival of Yahoo, while AOL?s Internet services are promoted across Time Warner's cable television network.

    In Tuesday?s agreement, Tokyo-based Sony and Yahoo, of Santa Clara, Calif., plan to develop online marketing programs to promote several movies from Sony Pictures Entertainment and to explore ways to integrate music from Sony Music Entertainment. In addition, SonyStyle.com, an e-commerce site that hawks the company?s electronics and computer products, will be prominently featured on Yahoo?s shopping site, the companies said.

    And in a leap attempting to connect Sony?s far-flung electronic entertainment systems, the companies will work to create a ?unified gateway? intended to allow users to access Sony content, products and services over the Net.

    Since the demise of the dot-com ads on which Web portals gorged themselves during the Internet boom, Yahoo and AOL have been rushing to line up Fortune 500 advertisers in an attempt to prove the effectiveness of branding through the Internet. Increasingly, advertisements from General Motors, Procter & Gamble, BMW and others are sprouting up across the Net.

    And as the battle between AOL Time Warner and Microsoft for the placement of their online services on computer desktops grabs attention, Yahoo, scrambling to not be pushed aside, has quietly won a deal with Sony to preload software that will allow Sony Vaio computer buyers to quickly register for Yahoo and Sony?s cobranded services.

    The cobranded services will include Yahoo?s instant messenger service and other personalized Sony and Yahoo content and services.