Traditional broadcast radio may be starting to remember that teens actually like radio, represent a huge population base, and are attractive consumers for advertisers. Radio just needs to distribute and produce its programming the way teens want to consume it.
After all, that cellphone, wireless pda and even iPod are just modern versions of "receivers". All are devices broadcast radio has been slow to adapt to and embrace.
Maybe that is changing.
In a move that marks a Canadian market first -- and perhaps a North American first -- Corus Radio announced the launch of an interactive youth radio station over broadband on November 6.
Carrying a mix of eclectic music-ranging from Top 40 and indie rock to hip hop and rap -- with programming hosted by teens and young adults, BoomBoxBaby.ca features personalities and content from Corus Entertainment's powerhouse brands YTV (Canada's version of Nickelodeon), children's publisher Kids Can Press and Corus Radio -- the largest broadcast radio group in Canada).
The new radio station, targeted at younger teens aged 12-17, broadcasts exclusively on the web with user-generated on-air content. When it comes to opportunity, creating better content for teens has a way better upside for radio's overall health and future success. Tailoring today's radio for the devices teens actually use right now (cellphones, pdas, computers) is a good idea most boradcasters choose to ignore. Better than HD or other gadget attempts. Combined with Canada's (and maybe the U.S.'s) efforts to make cities open WiFi hot spots allowing Internet radio to be heard wirelessly, this makes complete sense.
When was the last time a large broadcast radio group launched a new initiative targeting teens and valuing them as a potential audience? College radio stations have plugged into their university cable and Internet lines for years. Now maybe commercial radio can wake up to the potential.
This webcast joins Iceberg Radio, operated by Standard Radio, as another major webcast initiative from a Canadian terrestrial broadcast group. Corus, like Standard, now has a major online presence more developed than any American broadcaster except perhaps Clear Channel.
Can this start a new media trend and wake up the industry?
By the way, if you're interested in locating a broadcasting radio station to see if they are streaming on the web, here's an easy radio station locator.
To read more about BoomBoxBaby, click here.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, November 06, 2006,