Radio One Hits the Internet

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radio_one_logoIn the latest leap into cyberspace, we have RadioOne, the largest radio broadcasting company targeting African-American and urban listeners, moving quietly and steadily towards a completely rebooted Internet presence.

In a stealthy move, with little fanfare, the company has re-launched 53 of its radio station websites including their entire  Washington, D.C., market (KYSDC.com, MyMajicDC.com, praisedc.com, myspiritdc.com and woldcnews.com). The buzz is that more of their markets are soon to experience similar reboots.

Like all stations in these uncertain times, revenue is a driving force. With many advertisers shifting to online markets, it makes good sense to beef up their presence on the Internet. Couple that with the uncertain economic times and the trials of the automotive industry, a mainstay for radio advertising over the decades, and the logic is solid.

Barry Cooper of Black Web 2.0, founder of the original Black Voices.com, seems to agree:

The strategy makes sense. The company has stations in key urban areas such as Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.  With the network of stations Radio One will be able to offer major advertisers large, national campaigns featuring both the Web and the radio stations. That could give the company an advantage over some sites that lack the promotional power of a radio partner.

We cannot forsake those things that make radio unique; there will always be a need for the democratizing effect of broadcast. But we must also not be shy about reaching for the best that we can wring from the new technologies being born every few months.

Radio is not dying, it is growing up.

Image: Radio One logo / Fair Use

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