NEW YORK NBC Universal’s Oxygen is breaking into song this summer, launching a new music initiative designed to introduce the network’s girl-power demo to a roster of emerging artists.
On Wednesday, July 15, the net will flip the switch on “Sounds Like Oxygen,” a multiplatform campaign featuring on-air vignettes and a stand-alone microsite. Atlantic Records recording artist Laura Izibor, Danish alternative duo The Asteroids Galaxy Tour and Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Caitlin Crosby are among the first group of musicians profiled.
“Music is integral to our audience’s life,” said Jason Klarman, Oxygen’s general manager, by way of announcing the initiative. “Delivering a curated music experience that allows them to discover new artists fits perfectly with our strategy to reimagine Oxygen as a multiplatform lifestyle brand.”
The 30-second on-air plugs offer a glimpse at each artist’s current videos — Izibor sings snippets of her single “From My Heart to Yours,” while Crosby bops along to her song “Still Have My Heart” — before directing Oxygen viewers to the microsite.
The Sounds Like Oxygen site features full-length music videos, as well as photo galleries, biographical material and interactive quizzes. Each month, a new batch of artists will be added to the mix.
“Oxygen has developed a really creative and unique place to hear about other new artists,” said Crosby. “As a musician, it’s so cool to be a part of this project and have exposure to the network’s audience.”
Crosby is a particularly apt pick for the Sounds Like Oxygen roster, as her work confronts many of the body-image/self-esteem issues that plague young women. (Among the tracks on her debut record Flawz are “Imperfect Is the New Perfect” and “Don’t Play Me Hollow.”)
Since its acquisition by NBCU in October 2007, Oxygen has made great strides in its bid to attract a younger, hipper female audience. In the second quarter, the network grew it prime-time ratings among women 18-34 by 54 percent, thanks to a slate of sassy original series like Bad Girls Club, Pretty Wicked and the new competition series Dance Your Ass Off.
The influx of younger viewers has led to a concomitant increase in advertising revenue. According to SNL Kagan data, Oxygen took in $152.6 million in gross ad sales dollars last year, a 16 percent improvement from its 2007 total.
Since the year began, that momentum has continued apace, with ad sales revenues for the first quarter of 2009 up 27 percent versus the prior-year period.