IQ News: Spinner.com Adds Auctions

Internet music service Spinner.com is the latest Web player to give auctions a whirl. Today the Burlingame, Calif.-based company will announce an alliance with CityAuction, a geographically-targeted online auction site that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pasadena, Calif.-based Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch. CityAuction and Spinner.com have created a co-branded, person-to-person marketplace for music, audio equipment and memorabilia accessible from the Spinner.com front page.
“We have a huge base of customers and we want to sell them things,” explained Scott Epstein, senior vice president of marketing for Spinner.com. The site, which lets users listen to digitized music from a selection of channels dedicated to different genres, reports 1 million unique visitors a month.
So far, Spinner.com’s commerce has been limited to a “Buy this CD now” partnership with Amazon.com, and a special holiday store. “This signals our move into other forms of commerce,” Epstein added. Under consideration are tickets to live events and music offerings on a pay-per-download basis.
The site is now supported by audio and banner ads, and the sale of co-branded versions of Spinner.com’s audio player, called FacePlates.
CityAuction’s technology lets sellers specify a geographic location for the item to appear, or to offer the item nationally or globally. “Imagine if you were auctioning off your car and the winning bidder was in Philadelphia,” said CityAuction CEO and founder Andy Rebele. “If it was really rare you might want that, but for most cars that’s useless.”
Rebele said partnerships are a central part of CityAuction’s distribution strategy and Spinner.com will be a showcase. “They are the leaders in streaming media,” he said. “They were the first people we talked to in music and they were excited, so we didn’t have to go to No. 2.”
As part of the co-branding agreement, Spinner.com will display CityAuction banner ads on its site and music players, run rich media ads with audio messages, and display links on its site to relevant CityAuction music categories.–Susan Kuchinskas