Pressplay Delays Agency Selection

SAN FRANCISCO Online music-subscription service Pressplay is delaying its anticipated agency selection by a week or more due to its acquisition today by Roxio, sources said.

The music service is also to be renamed Napster, sources said. The name was acquired last year by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Roxio, a digital-media software company, which announced plans to relaunch the well-known name as a legal, paid online-music service.

Sources had expected Pressplay to name an agency this week to handle its estimated $5 million creative and media account. Effective Marketing Strategies of Surprise, Ariz., has been leading the search, which began in February.

Independent Venables, Bell & Partners in San Francisco is the front-runner, sources said. Other agencies that had been in contention were Dentsu’s Colby & Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., and Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos and Omnicom’s BBDO, both in San Francisco. Sources said the three agencies had been notified that they had not won the account. Agency officials either could not be reached or declined comment. Pressplay representatives declined comment.

Pressplay will delay but not call off the ongoing agency review and will likely need the services of an agency for its relaunch as Napster, a source said.

Roxio’s agency is Boston independent Modernista!

Roxio purchased majority ownership of Pressplay for $39.5 million in cash and stock. Pressplay was a joint venture of Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment.

In the transaction, Universal and Sony will provide representatives to serve on Roxio’s board of directors. Pressplay’s president, Mike Bebel, will report directly to Chris Gorog, Roxio’s chairman and CEO, and the company’s offices in Los Angeles and New York will remain in place, according to a statement issued today by Roxio.