Clear Channel's Sales Soar -- Online

Clear Channel Radio's online music and radio division has been the company's fastest-growing source of revenue in 2005 and 2006, a Clear Channel spokeswoman said Friday, after Evan Harrison--the executive vice president who was poached from AOL in 2005 to head the division--detailed Clear Channel's efforts in 2005 and program for 2006.

Together, digital tech vehicles--including cell phones, in-vehicle navigation, online streaming, and download subscriptions--account for about 5 percent of Clear Channel Radio's total revenue, or about $40.5 million in first quarter 2006, and Harrison's division is the fastest-growing part. Among its most popular features are streaming video-on-demand and music-on-demand features, according to Harrison, who boasted: "We're now a visual medium."

In 2005 Clear Channel Web sites bowed a new video service called "Stripped" where performers visit Clear Channel studios to deliver exclusive performances, including unstructured "jams"--for example, hip hop improvisation by Kanye West. On April 5th, 2006, the Clear Channel site network also began offering music videos on demand from its multi-volume library of over 5,000.

New video features have helped make Clear Channel's online music and radio network fifth in terms of monthly unique visitors--drawing 7,828,000 in May 2006. Although this places it just behind MySpace Music--which drew 8,151,000 in May--Clear Channel did beat out iTunes,,, and

In terms of format, Harrison said, streaming broadcasts increased 421 percent between April 2005 and May 2006, bringing it suddenly to near-parity with AOL Radio--Harrison's former employer. Most remarkably, perhaps, Harrison said on-demand plays have risen 1,319 percent in the first 5 months of 2006--rising from 100,000 in the first week of January to 1.9 million in the last week of May/first week of June.

To enable these features and drive traffic to Clear Channel properties, Harrison led a broad relaunch of most of the company's local station Web sites, revamping over 950 out of a total 1,171 with 50 basic site "templates" designed in-house by Clear Channel online music and radio. Of these, so far over 800 have added streaming capabilities, with more planned in the near future.

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