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NBC to try Net music

The television network strikes a deal with Launch Media to create a music site on NBC.com, featuring multimedia content and e-commerce.

NBC said today that Launch Media will become its exclusive online music partner and that it will take a minority stake in the Net music firm.

The deal is another sign of the move by television networks to add more features to their Web sites to generate more revenue--and try to ensure that they recapture any viewers who go to the Web for entertainment. Online music is an increasingly popular option with many Netizens.

It is a highly competitive field, however, with many players.

NBC and Launch will jointly create a cobranded music site on NBC.com, featuring multimedia content and e-commerce. The service will debut in April. Later this spring, Launch and NBC will create content and retailing for NBC Interactive Neighborhood, comprised of more than 100 NBC owned and affiliated stations.

"Music is and will be as significant on the Internet as it is on TV," said Martin Yudkovitz, president of NBC Interactive, in a statement. "We expect that the combination of NBC's on-air and online programming with Launch's Internet content and services will serve our audience well and considerably propel the use of these useful and entertaining Internet services."

Launch Media completed a $22 million round of financing that includes GE Capital, Intel, Phoenix Partners, Allen & Company, Arts Alliance, and Avalon Technology, as well as NBC.