I-RECALL: Behind the Hype - Music chameleon weathers the storm Worldpop has survived the dotcom storm by being as transient as its audience

Worldpop is no new kid on the block. Founded in 1999 as primarily a

music content and media owner, the company has mutated with the times

and has come out alive at the other end. Over the past six months or so

Worldpop has been functioning more as an agency than a media owner and

presents itself more as a digital marketing outfit than a publisher.

Editorial is part of the company business, but other services which

Worldpop provides include profile data access, design, media planning

and distribution.

The new-media company makes frequent use of mobile messaging and e-mail


Site characteristics The Worldpop site, which isn't the only channel via

which it delivers its content, is targeted at quite a young


Perhaps a little cluttered, it is full of the gimmicks that get the

youth market interested - text messages, ringtones, pop news etc. The

site is also gearing up for its Ibiza special - last year Worldpop ran a

series of sponsorships and promotions on the island and also covered all

of those events throughout the season on the site.

One of the main elementsof Worldpop's Ibiza coverage is broadcast via

SMS is alerting holidaymakers to the club events occuring that night and

also organsing guest list placings and other concessions. The only

problem seemed to be getting off the list - there are few things more

irritating than text messages about sunny Ibiza when one is back in

miserable old Blighty - but they promise to improve that this year.

Worldpop has also launched SMS text message campaigns for the likes of

MTV and E4 and recently launched a joint venture text messaging venture

with Tower Records.

Funding Worldpop is funded by DKW, ETF, Amadeus and TAG group.

Principals The company was founded by the artist management outfit James

Grant Management, The Licensing Company and Dreamtime Technologies. Its

joint managing directors are Geoff Smith, formerly at the Henley Centre,

and Liam Hamilton, who was previously the managing director of LWT.

Marketing Much to the envy of the music industry, Worldpop rather

shrewdly secured itself a sponsorship deal with the official Top 40

singles chart, which gives the brand visibility on TV, both on BBC's Top

of the Pops and ITV's Saturday morning CD:UK programme, which Worldpop

supplies with editorial content.

The site also made a rather wise decision early on to never run any TV

advertising, and a lot of its traffic is generated via online

partnerships and syndication deals.

Competitors There is no shortage of online music brands - Miller

Freeman's Dotmusic and, of course, MTV to name but two - but both

function more as publishers than digital marketing models.

THE YEAR AHEAD - Excellent prospects

Despite being either loved or loathed by most in the industry, Worldpop

has weathered the dotcom storm and appears to be here to stay. Although

we should never say never ...

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