Yahoo Starts ‘Huge’ Music Push

NEW YORK Looking to play catch-up with Apple’s online music store, Yahoo said it would begin a wide-ranging ad campaign for its new online music service, Yahoo Music Unlimited.

Yahoo WPP Group roster shops Soho Square in New York and OgilvyOne in San Francisco created the “This is huge” campaign, which features miniaturized animations of rock stars like Missy Elliott, Green Day and Ciara. The tagline for the ads is “Over a million songs-5 bucks a month-This is huge.”

Web ads for the campaign will allow users to hear clips of the stars featured in the ads, as well as a call to action for a free trial of the service. The ads will run throughout the Yahoo portal and on other sites.

Yahoo also plans television, print and outdoor ads, all featuring the miniaturized rock stars.

The ad push launches Aug. 28 on the MTV Video Music Awards, and is slated to run for the rest of the year.

With Yahoo Music Unlimited, which launched in beta on May 11, Yahoo hopes to attract customers of pay-per-song music services like Apple’s iTunes Music store, which offers song downloads for 99 cents. In contrast, Yahoo is offering $6.99 or $60 per year annual subscription plans. Unlike download services such as iTunes, however, Yahoo Music Unlimited subscribers lose access to the songs if they let their subscriptions lapse. Subscribers will be able to trade songs with other subscribers through Yahoo’s instant-messaging software and transfer songs to MP3 players.