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Britney Spears, AOL join up to promote music, tour

Teen pop diva Brtiney Spears will pair up with AOL Time Warner Inc. through a strategic pact that will promote the artist across the AOL Internet unit, the world’s biggest Internet and media firm said Thursday.

As part of the pact, AOL’s 31 million members will get exclusive online activities such as exclusive chats with the pop star, access to music and videos, as well as concert promotions with Spears during the fall.

AOL Time Warner, home to artists such as Madonna and Jewel, will promote the artist’s albums and live tour. Spears has said that she will donate $1 from every concert ticket to benefitthe children of the firefighters and police officers lost in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The Internet and media giant has been increasingly trying to promote AOL through its traditional media assets, such as music artists and cable networks, and vice versa. Every copy of Spear’s upcoming album will come with the latest version of AOL software.

The AOL service will become the online home for Britney, who records for Jive Records, and her fans. The Internet service’s members will have first crack at Spears tickets – much like they had first crack at Madonna tickets before they went on sale to the general public.

“We are in the midst of transforming the online music experience for consumers, and this relationship between America Online and Britney Spears truly speaks to the Internet’s ability to reinvent the way that music is marketed,” said Barry Schuler, Chairman and CEO of America Online.

AOL Time Warner has said it will launch an online music subscription service in November.

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