Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) August 27, 2004 -
Â Fans of Christian rock, contemporary gospel, inspirational and many more of the entertainment industryÂs fastest growing musical genres will have a number of new ways to hear music, see stars and connect with other fans across the country through The MP Network Corporation, a new multi-media company. It is comprised of:
Â The MP, a video music channel slated to launch during the fourth quarter of 2004
Â MPZ, a four-color music and entertainment-based magazine (http://www.thempz.com)
Â The MP Tour, a multi-city tour featuring live music from the genreÂs hottest performers (http://www.themptour.com)
Â TheMPNetwork.com, a ÂviewerÂ website that will offer streaming video, artist information, original programming and other special features. Planned launch is October 2004.
ÂThe closest parallel to what we are trying to accomplish is the way ESPN has grown,Â said Larry Moore, president and chief executive officer of The MP Network Corporation. ÂJust as ESPN is widely regarded as the Âworldwide leader in sportsÂ, we want to become the recognized leader in providing entertainment from diverse musical genres that have an inspirational bent.Â
The MP Network will develop and distribute content from a broad range of performers to an increasing fan base. For advertisers, The MP Network provides a single source to reach this expanding demographic through various media outlets.
ÂOur concept is straightforward,Â said Moore. ÂWe want to take existing content and develop new, exciting programming, which can be used on our various formats. For example, footage taken on The MP Tour will be used on the video music channel and streamed over the web. And writers from MPZ will have special access to the stars and the performances so that they can develop exclusive pieces for the monthly. Advertisers benefit because sponsors of The MP Tour will also receive the advantage of multiple appearances on The MP, streaming on TheMPNetwork.com and spotlights in the magazine.Â
The MP Network Corporation is based in Charlotte, NC. It will have music and video production facilities in Nashville, TN, and a regional office in Los Angeles to take advantage of that areaÂs vibrant music industry. Funding for the company has been provided through an initial round of private investment.
Larry Moore and Mike Mason will lead the multi-media company. Moore is the former CEO of Convacent, a broadband engineering equipment manufacturer that developed products that integrate video, voice and data for businesses and consumer applications. Mason, who will serve as executive vice president, brings more than 20 years of senior level management experience in the television industry to the company. Prior to joining The MP Network, Mason served as vice president of business development and strategic planning for ACN TV (better known as Jewelry Television) and has held similar positions with TechTV (now G4TechTV), The Disney Channel, ABC Cable Networks and Home Box Office.
ÂMPÂ stands for Âmusic positive.Â The MP Network will feature entertainment-driven programming that empowers people to bring about positive changes in their lives. ÂWe want to become an indispensable, necessary part of American culture that will inspire people,Â said Moore. ÂWe feel the best way we can do this is by providing new entertainment that fosters a sense of hope and renewal.Â
At its inception, The MP will air a variety of videos of Christian rock, contemporary gospel, inspirational and other similar types of music for a growing legion of fans. The MPÂs initial programming inventory will be comprised primarily of music videos and concert footage supplied by record labels, independent filmmakers and producers, association and trade related organizations, production companies in and collaboration with other major program networks.
As The MP expands, original and co-produced programming will increase. The channel anticipates developing shows similar to that found on other successful music channels such as MTV, CMT, VH1, etc. This could include weekly or daily countdowns, concerts, artist interviews and profiles, reality series, broadcasts of nationally popular radio programs and a multitude of other entertainment.
ÂThe MP, like other successful video channels, will focus on a specific niche,Â said Moore. ÂAs a result of this concentration, these networks have received unqualified support from the satellite and cable industries. We anticipate that demand for The MP will be similar to these networks or others like Lifetime, Food Network, HGTV, History Channel and many others.
"The most successful networks for operators are ones that stand out above the clutter by providing unique programming with sizzle,Â said Moore. ÂThat is our vision for The MP Â the singular viewing option for a growing market segment.Â
MPZ (The MP Magazine) is the print companion to The MP video music channel. The magazine will be a full color publication that will be distributed monthly. It will be available by subscription and sold in various retail locations including Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Christian bookstores and other regional retail chains.
MPZ will highlight and promote the artists, concerts, special events and related personalities involved with The MP and the Âmusic positiveÂ genre as a whole. Content and editorial will focus on the interests of the 18-34 demographic that enjoys these varied musical styles.
ÂOur intent is to create an edgy, in-depth perspective to this category of rising popular music,Â said Moore. ÂOur goal is to be the nationÂs leading magazine that promotes and represents some of AmericaÂs fastest growing segments of popular music.Â
The MP Tour
The MP Network is organizing two tours for 2005. The first is slated to run from March through June, and the second is scheduled for September through October. The MP Tour will visit approximately 35 cities during each circuit. Dates, times, locations and participating artists on the first stops of the tour will be announced in late 2004.
The MP Tour will feature artists that reflect the energy of the new video music channel, magazine and website. ÂOne of the most important things we want to accomplish is to help build a sense of community for the millions of fans of these types of music,Â said Bruce Irvine, vice president of tour operations. ÂThe tour enables us to bring together artists, their fans, sponsors and other supporters in a series of singular events that help to build identity through shared experience.Â
The MP Network has begun development of a ÂviewerÂ website that will stream video, provide artist profiles, update fans on latest happenings and act as a portal for its other media channels. The new site is expected to debut in October 2004.
ÂWith an increasing number of young people spending more and more time on the Internet, one of our focal strategies is to develop a crisp, exciting presence on the web,Â said Moore. ÂPart of this is driven by the recognition that advertisers want to appeal to younger consumers. We hope to attract young people through TheMPNetwork.com and keep them with entertaining programs targeted to them on our other outlets.Â
Some of the entertainment industryÂs fastest growing market segments are the wide range of artists, performers, programs and events that comprise Christian rock, contemporary gospel, inspirational and its many other variations. This growth is reflected in the following research from the Gospel Music Association:
Â This genre accounts for almost $1 billion annually in U.S. sales (Recording Industry Association of America).
Â Album sales have grown 10 percent from 42 million units in 1998 to over 47 million units in 2003. This is compared to a 10 percent decline in overall music sales for the same five-year period (Nielsen SoundScan).
Â Sales represent 7 percent of all albums sold in 2003. It outsold Soundtracks (4.97 percent), Latin (4.18 percent), and Jazz and Classical combined (3.51 percent and 2.87percent, respectively) (Nielsen SoundScan).
ÂAlbum sales at mainstream retail outlets increased 7 percent in 2003 (Nielsen SoundScan).
Most importantly, advertising partners are increasingly using these genres, its music and its stars to reach their targeted audiences. Chevrolet served as the title sponsor for Third Day, one of the largest Christian tour concerts in 2003. Nestle featured Christian artist Stacie Orrico with other performers on 29 million packages of Sweet Tarts. Campbells, JC Penney, General Motors and many other leading companies have developed marketing efforts to use this genre, its popularity and appeal to help attract new customers and leverage the strength of their brands.
ÂThese companies are part of an expanding group of savvy marketers that understand the growing influence of this vibrant musical genre and its ability to move people,Â said Moore.
For more information about The MP Network Corporation, visit http://www.thempnetwork.com
(615) 419-4717 (cell)
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