Today we are going to take a look at some new, and hopefully profitable, partnerships that are expanding the reach of radio across both internet and mobile platforms. First, let’s see what is happening with Radio Time (see our 1/4/08 post) as they ally with Cox Communications. The press release on Yahoo! Business gives us some details on this newly minted partnership:
DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–RadioTime, Inc., developer of the RadioGuide™ technology for finding and listening to more than 50,000 AM/FM radio stations online, today announced Cox Radio, Inc. (NYSE: CXR – News) has licensed program information for distribution over computers and other devices that connect to the RadioTime guide. The RadioTime-Cox Radio partnership enables listeners using their computers or New Radio devices to find real-time information about what’s airing on all Cox Radio stations nationwide.[…]
“This translates to a much more reliable and enjoyable listening experience,” said Bill Moore, founder and CEO, RadioTime, Inc. “Cox Radio is the first major radio broadcaster to integrate its content systems with an aggregated directory to deliver these benefits to the listener using connected devices, and represents a significant step in the radio industry’s evolution of the traditional radio tuner.”
This union is indeed an evolutionary step forward. Users of Radio Time can now take advantage of innovations made in the Internet world when listening to Cox radio stations: host and show info, song and artist data, etc. The ease of discovery inherent in partnering with an online aggregator is also extremely important and heralds a bold step into the future of the medium.
Meanwhile, Clear Channel Communications has also announced an innovative technology partner: Thumbplay. Their Press Release from BusinessWire gives us a peek at whats in store:
[Thumbplay] today announced a relationship with Clear Channel Radio to roll out customized mobile content stores across more than 650 of its local music stations’ Web sites, plus several more news and sports stations, throughout 2008. Thumbplay’s content is contextually featured in areas including the ‘Just Played’ box and ‘Top 20 On Demand’ lists on all participating local radio stations’ home pages. In addition, links to the mobile content store are found in the ‘Last 10 Played’ playlist on each site. This enables listeners who like songs heard on these stations to purchase them as ringtones for more than 2,000 supported handsets across all major U.S. wireless carriers.
Radio station websites will feature the customized Thumbplay stores containing content apropos to the station’s format. There will be sections for the station DJ to choose and update their own personal selection of favorite ringtones
“Many of our listeners first discover their favorite songs on radio,” said Larry Linietsky, Vice President of Business & Product Development for Clear Channel Online Music & Radio. “We can now connect the dots by delivering a broad selection of mobile content, including exclusive station-created ringtones and graphics, right to our listeners via our stations’ websites.”
“For radio stations, the discovery of relevant mobile content, whether ringtones or music videos, is a natural extension of the listener experience,” said Are Traasdahl, Thumbplay’s CEO and founder. “Thumbplay gives radio stations and their personalities the ability to sell mobile content and to quickly tap into new revenue while requiring minimal resources for implementation.”
The collaborative evolution of broadcast and Internet media proceeds apace. Each day, more ideas come to light on ways in which these two media can operate in a collaborative rather than competitive fashion.
As always, it is exciting to watch as these new approaches are developed and tested, each one rife with possibility. The eagerness with which these “cutting edge” companies are partnering with traditional broadcasts entities speak of an exciting new evolution of radio.
Just one more thing, a side note for those who enjoy keeping up on the intersection of radio and the Internet: According to C|Net News, Yahoo has just started running radio ads for its search engine in San Francisco’s Bay Area. No additional information is available yet on what other markets they may expand into.
Photo courtesy of www.viahar24h.com, used under this Creative Commons license