Verizon Wireless is offering its customers downloads of tracks from Beyonce’s new album through its V Cast music service in advance of the album’s release later this week.
In a first for V Cast Music, Verizon customers have a five-day window from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18 to download seven full tracks from the album, titled “I am…Sasha Fierce.” They could also download those tracks and three other tunes from the release as ringtones or ringbacks.
V Cast also staged an artist “takeover,” with all Beyonce releases highlighted on the V Cast Music storefront. It’s effectively a double-header play, simultaneously boosting Beyonce and V Cast’s profile as a music download destination.
“When we have a special opportunity with an artist like Beyonce, it’s always a chance to drive people to V Cast,” said Verizon Wireless spokesperson Debra Lewis.
The Beyonce tunes are available for download at $1.99 apiece. A subscription to V Cast Music with Rhapsody costs $14.99 per month.
One of the new Beyonce tunes, “If I Were A Boy,” was released two weeks in advance of the songs on the new album, and had become the most frequently downloaded tune in V Cast’s catalog, according to Lewis. That tune is also getting advance play on Beyonce’s website.
The deal for the advance release from the Music World/Columbia label was the result of ongoing discussions Verizon Wireless conducts with all major labels, Lewis said. The move is part of a tactic Verizon Wireless hopes to continue with other artists and labels.
Verizon Wireless declines to release subscriber numbers for V Cast. But in the third quarter of this year, it did claim that V Cast drew more than 43 million video and music downloads from its subscribers.