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EPIC, MSN GIVE THE GIFT OF "SUPERSTARS"
12-Day Holiday Promotion Includes Autographed Goodies From Artists

Epic and Microsoft’s MSN portal have launched a holiday sweepstakes, "12 Days of Epic Superstars," featuring memorabilia signed by artists and an array of shiny new gizmos. The event, now in progress, runs through 12/21.

The Superstars in question include Michael Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Incubus, Sade (whose CD catalog is up for grabs today), Shakira, Travis (who autographed a guitar that will be given away on 12/15), Tenacious D, Macy Gray, Ozzy Osbourne, Ginuwine and Ghostface Killah.

Users who visit the 12 Days page on the Epic site need only watch streaming videos by featured artists and answer a question about each. Every day of the promotion will see the announcement of a grand-prize winner; prizes include Sony DVD player and catalog, mini-disc system, portable MP3 player (don’t share unauthorized music, kids), Playstation2, digital camera and flatscreen TV. That’s in addition to discs signed by each of the acts and their entire Epic CD catalog.

"The last three months have been incredibly busy for Epic, with one superstar release after another," noted label SVP Mike Tierney. "First off, we wanted to come up with a way to have some fun and thank the fans for their support of our artists. Then we wanted to let music fans know that there really is an Epic artist that is perfect for every person on their holiday shopping list. MSN really got the spirit of this promotion and we’re thrilled to have them as a partner. Also, I’m hoping to meet Bill Gates, because I believe he has a flying jet pack."

"With the top tier of artists that Epic brings and the reach and comprehensiveness of MSN Music," crowed MSN Music Executive Producer Geoff Stansfield, "the 12 Days of Epic Superstars is truly one-stop holiday shopping. And all I ask for myself is something Shakira wore and perspired in."

MSN has long hoped to challenge online leader AOL, and music is obviously key to its strategy. In addition to the Epic promotion, MSN will be hosting the VU-Sony sub service Pressplay (up against AOL-affiliated MusicNet). It’s clear that whatever the current state of retail, media companies will continue to depend on music—and particularly superstar acts—to bait the hook for consumers.

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