MuchMusic teams up with MasterCard to give teens online cred

Teens spend billions online, often using their parents' credit cards. Now MuchMusic is pushing its own branded pre-paid plastic at teens and parents, hitting both targets with messages of freedom.

CHUM Television launched the MuchMusic Prepaid MasterCard yesterday – a strategic move to break down barriers between teens and legitimately-downloadable online content. The prepaid card comes with 10 free music downloads upon sign-up and 15% discounts on purchases from MuchMusic. It can be topped up or spent online, at the ATM or anywhere MasterCard is accepted.

While the campaign is targeting teens 16 and older, teens aged 13-15 can get their hands on one with permission from parents or legal guardians. A youth-helping-youth component is also built in for the Much-branded card, as 10% of net profits go to War Child Canada.

‘Kids are maturing, and they are early adopters with all things online. They also have a strong desire to consume content online,’ CHUM Television VP content business development Maria Hale tells MiC. ‘The music industry ran into hurdles because kids really don’t have an easy and legitimate way to consume that content. We’re now making it easier for kids to purchase content legitimately.’

On-air spots and a list of online ads are promoting the prepaid card as a way for parents to give kids a glimpse of financial responsibility, as well a way teens can get the content they want without having to ask for mom or dad’s credit card. In the TV ad targeting teens, a young guy hangs out in a crib and later sits in baby chair dictating an URL to his mom, who nags him about buying too much rap music.

Hale says the spots will be placed online and on-air, across CHUM’s youth services and on channels such as Citytv, Space and Star. Online buys with third party sites will also be part of the mix.

In order to pull off the MuchMusic Prepaid MasterCard, CHUM partnered with Toronto-HQ’d Mint Technology, Mississauga-based GE Money Canada and War Child Canada.