Usually, most people seem to expect news of media buys in our industry to be about broadcast companies and stations buying into new media. It’s a trained response for many; after all, new media is fresh and, well, new.
That’s why it pays to watch the business pages.
On Monday of this week, Invicta Group, Inc. has just brought on board an International Director of Sales and “is negotiating to acquire Radio Broadcasting Licenses to increase revenue streams.” The press release on CNN Money is brief, but the action taken speaks volumes.
New Media is a wonderful and powerful thing, but radio has it beat in one particular regard which I will bet is the driving force behind this deal: The Digital Divide. Even though computer and Internet use have become extremely widespread, there is still a large and important segment of the population that either has no access to computers, or lacks the skills to properly utilize them. By contrast, turning a radio knob is simplicity itself, and the radio is ready to “Plug ‘N Play,” right out of the box.
When you get out of the United States, it becomes evident quite rapidly that the size of this divide fluctuates wildly from country to country, usually being tied to socioeconomic forces. As a counterpoint, radio is ubiquitous. While for those of you reading this blog, Internet access is a non-issue, for many it is a big one.
So who are these Internet veterans who want to expand into broadcast radio? Invicta describe themselves as:
[…] an Internet Media Company that specializes in the Travel and Entertainment Industry. The company has a subsidiary that uses the Internet as their medium to generate revenues: Travel Hot Link sells its Internet database of 40 million travel enthusiasts to Travel Suppliers that want to promote their discounted travel products: airline tickets, hotel rooms, tour packages, cruise cabins on the Internet 24/7.
In the press release, they state their goal as being a multimedia company that is expanding into broadcast as well as continuing development of their Internet-based ventures. They are certainly no novices when it comes to cyberspace, yet these folks are eyeing radio for their future acquisitions. Smart move.