Verizon Content Deals: AC/DC Coup; NBCU-V Cast Video Expands


A coup for mobile music, especially if you’re a fan of “Back in Black”: Since Metallica’s legal wrangles with Napster in 2000, aging heavy metal bands have proven to be some of the toughest fighters in the music industry when it comes to securing their copyrights against the online music onslaught. Now one of the last digital standouts, AC/DC, has signed a deal to make its entire catalog available digitally. But instead of offering the music through Apple’s iTunes — now the third largest retailer of music after WalMart and Best Buy — or one of the other established online retailers, the Aussie rockers have signed an exclusive deal to sell the music through Verizon’s online music store.

There seem to be several caveats in the AC/DC agreement. As the WSJ points out, all of the tracks but one — “You Shook Me All Night Long” — will only be available in album format (AC/DC has some 17 albums in its catalog), and the albums will also retail for more than they cost through Amazon: $11.99 versus $9.97. And the music will only be available online rather than via OTA downloads. But this could either prove to be a boost to the online store, or AC/DC’s highway to hell : Verizon notes that only 5 percent of its music sales currently are made through the web site. The deal also includes 18 ringtones.

NBCU: NBCU content from several shows has been on V Cast Video for some time, while the network has multiple channels on V Cast Mobile TV through Qualcomm’s MediaFLO. The newest deal expands the short video library considerably by taking the number of V Cast Video channels to nine, bringing content from all NBCU networks to V Cast-enabled phones. In addition to the already-provided Access Hollywood, NBC News and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the lineup now includes NBC Sports; NBC Comedy with The Office, 30 Rock and Late Night with Conan O’Brien; BravoToGo; NBC Entertainment )including Heroes and Friday Night Lights); Telemundo; mun2; and iVillage. No details on terms. V Cast runs $3.00 for 24-hour use or $15.00 a month through the V CAST VPak monthly subscription. Release.

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