'iCarly' star has eye on iPods

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Miranda Cosgrove, the star of Nickelodeon's "iCarly," has her sights set on conquering the music world.

The tween TV sensation has inked a deal with Columbia Records — part of the global partnership inked between Nick and the Sony Music Label Group — that will include the release of the album "iCarly iPlaylist" on June 10.

"The show already has a huge audience, and our expectation is that the kids who love the show will also love the record," said Cyma Zarghami, president of Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group.

"iPlaylist" will feature 14 songs, four of which are sung by Cosgrove, including the series' theme song, "Leave It All to Me," which recently charted on the Billboard Hot 100. The remaining 10 tracks — all by such teen-friendly Sony artists as Good Charlotte and Avril Lavigne — were chosen to represent "songs that would appear on Carly's iPod," Sony Music Label Group chairman Rob Stringer said.

Sony and Nickelodeon are releasing "iPlaylist" as part of a joint venture created in June. The pact will include 12 records to be released in 2008 alone, including "iCarly" and the soundtrack to the upcoming TV movie "Spectacular." Previous titles released under the venture include the original soundtrack to the Nickelodeon show "The Naked Brothers Band."

Sony and Nickelodeon will split the revenue of records produced under the deal, Zarghami said. Both companies also plan a big marketing campaign for "iPlaylist"; digital platforms will be integral, especially given that the TV show is based around a teenage girl's webcam series.

"We're doing a huge amount of Web marketing as well as having Nickelodeon run ads and all the traditional pop marketing," Stringer said.

"ICarly," created by Dan Schneider, consistently has ranked among the top five series among tweens and is the highest-rated program in its time slot for kids 6-11 and tweens 9-14, according to Nielsen Media Research. It is the No. 3-ranked program on broadcast and cable TV in both demos, behind Fox's "American Idol" and Nick's "Zoey 101."

Billboard correspondent Cortney Harding reported from New York; Kimberly Nordyke reported from Los Angeles.
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