Clear Channel 2.0?

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Radio giant Clear Channel is taking it to the web. Monday and Tuesday of this week saw back-to-back announcements about the company’s new Internet-based initiatives, both of which show an emphatic embrace of the online world and its place in the evolution of radio.

Let’s take the Tuesday announcement first, as reported by the San Antonio Business Journal:

Clear Channel Radio has launched a new Web site to help advertisers choose between all the diverse promotional tools that radio has to offer these days.

The business-to-business site, www.totalradius.com, gives advertisers a glimpse of all the different promotional tools they can use for their campaigns, including on-air, on-demand, mobile text and digital broadcasts.

“Totalradius.com is a first stop for advertisers exploring the multi-faceted landscape of radio,” says John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio. “At the push of a button, advertisers can hear successful audio branding, get examples of integrated marketing best practices and get in contact with stations in their markets.”

There are sections on the Totalradius site that that include testimonials, breakdowns on how to write a commercial, and several other topics. Online audio and video enhance the effort to engage possible advertisers, displaying the power of radio. All-in-all, a nice step forward bridging the gap between terrestrial radio and the Internet at the industry level.

Then comes the other interesting bit of news (via Mark Hefflinger of DigitalMediaWire). Clear Channel is looking into developing a personalized web radio player for its stations’ websites. That in and of itself is no news, simply good planning. What does make it interesting is that they have opened talks with Pandora.com about collaborating on development. (If you’re unfamiliar with Pandora it is an outgrowth of the Music Genome Project and bill themselves as a learning online radio station that adjusts to your tastes. Tim Westergrin, the founder, is also one of the movers behind Save Net Radio. I had the pleasure of meeting him at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2007, and he is an amazingly nice guy.)

Clear Channel seems to be evolving their efforts to be more in tune with the Web 2.0 world, as can be seen in strategic alliances such as the one with Clearspring (developing widgets to stream stations through social networking profiles), or their new lyric search feature powered by Sony owned Gracenote.

Image courtesy of Bull3t, used under its Creative Commons license

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