The success of MySpace has spun off an emerging trend of new social networking startup site based on specific themes and custom labels. And now radio is joining the online marketing action.
Billboard.biz reports today that America's largest radio company Clear Channel is starting up its own radio-branded social networking websites, with plans to get them up and running throughout this summer.
The concept? "Mini-MySpace" sites associated with a major market's radio brand logo targeting that stations' local community audience, allowing users to create and customize their profiles, upload their user-generated content and viral video, form friendship links, post comments and generally connect with other like-minded people.
At the same time, the radio stations with have a new opportunity to promote its activities and contests as well as community events, gossip, new music releases and even on-air podcasts.
It's only a decade late.
But at least it finally getting done.
How about the other radio groups?
Some Clear Channel example sites launched today: The Wild Space for Rhythmic CHR Wild FM in San Francisco; The Mob for Top 40 Kiss FM in Chicago; The Z-Zone for New York's Top 40 Z100; Kiss Nation for Top 40 Kiss FM in Dallas; and many more to come from stations across the country based on new music formats.
Will they just be LateSpace?
What took radio so long to wake up to the social networking phenomenon of the last decade? The Internet started as a community connector to share information (digitally) back when it was bulletin board Dos-based postings accessed via slow-baud dial-ups -- long before AOL IMs, or even chat rooms in CompuServe or Prodigy.
Radio could have -- and should have -- established online social networkings long before MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Bebo, Zanga, Eons, UrbanBaby or any of the others popular places online today. Radio already had (and still has) established built-in interactive communities, including local fans as well as listeners who've relocated to other cities who remain fans.
Clear Channel's plans will "monetize the sites with targeted online spots from local advertisers" while helping people connect with others locally. Meanwhile, users will be able to click on the user profiles in the chat area to enter and explore the social network.
According to the news release:
Each social network will have a user experience similar to that offered by MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and others. Users can create and customize profiles; upload photos, music and video; blog; and add friends. Users will also be able to enhance their profile pages with videos from Clear Channel's catalog of over 6,000 music videos licensed from major and independent labels.Yes, social websites are one of Top 10 things teens love to do. The timing is good for radio to step in and offer something fresh, especially since MySpace is turning more and more into a junkyard mess.
But it's not just teens that want to socially network online.
It's grownups, too -- GenXers and Boomers alike. Adult Contemporary, Classic Rock, Oldies and other adult music formats should also be included.
There's lots of competition among the most active social networking websites. Breaking through will be tough. Corporate Radio is slow joining the bandwagon when it comes to online social networking...perhaps its expertise in formating and its built-in on-air audience can help radio stations get the word out while creating a unique online community destination.
Just help users cut through the clutter!
It does lead to an interesting modern-day question: How many online profiles can a person possibly have and keep up-to-date while still keeping up real-life responsibilities? Three? Five? A dozen? More? How many multiple personalities are we all living every day?
And another question: what will radio do about mobile social networking (like Twitter, etc.)?
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Monday, April 30, 2007,
- At 10:52 AM, ThePurpleSeal said...
A while back i managed to find a british labels company who printed me some custom labels for a really low price. If anyone is at all interested it may be worth taking a look at their website.
- At 12:42 AM, Ruth said...
I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.