Vodafone invests in AFP to support music plans

Mobile phone operator will use TV and radio to build an association with music.

Vodafone is backing its live music strategy with a heavy investment in advertiser-funded programming.

Branded programming on Channel 4 and across 51 FM stations owned by GCap and Emap will support Vodafone's attempt to associate itself with the best in live music.

OMD Fuse, the content division of Vodafone's media agency, has conceived branded content ideas building up to the Vodafone Live Music Awards in October.

A monthly music show, called Vodafone TBA, will air on Channel 4 and will blend live performances from acts with documentary footage. Presented by the Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman and produced by the Endemol division Initial, the programme will showcase footage taken from live performances, the first of which will be by Snow Patrol.

The first programme will be on Channel 4 on 5 May. Five-minute versions of the programme will run in T4 airtime.

OMD has also negotiated a deal with GCap and Emap to create a weekly radio programme, called The Vodafone Live Hour, which will air on Mondays between 9pm and 10pm. The show, presented by MTV's Jo Good, will provide a mix of live performances and competitions and will feature an artist of the week.

Starting on 8 May, the programme will air across GCap's The One Network and Emap's Big City Network. It will also run on selected stations outside the two networks, including Emap's Kerrang! and GCap's Xfm.

All branded content will link back to Vodafone's music download website (www. vodafonemusic.co.uk). Vodafone is committed to music activity for at least three years.

Opinion, page 21.