I-Radio Bands Together

After a nasty court decision didn’t go their way last year, a collective of many of the top radio stations on the Internet has announced the formation of the Internet Radio Marketing Group. The group will give agencies and their clients a chance to buy several radio networks with one decision, and it will also coordinate an Internet radio awareness campaign.

“Introducing a network concept can start to increase the reach that agencies and their clients are looking for on the Internet,” said Kevin Shively V.P. Business Affairs at Beethoven.com. “That issue has been a hindrance up to this point.”

Shively and his partners are betting that the network’s target audience of the 25 to 54 year old demographic, and reach of hundreds of thousands of affluent and educated professionals will pull advertisers. Over 70% of Internet radio listening is done during weekday work hours, according to Arbitron data. Arbitron estimates that as many as 44 million Americans listen to Internet radio each month.

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The group is currently offering a "Charter Advertising Package" that will enable advertisers who participate before June 30, 2003 to lock in current ad rates through the end of 2004. The roster currently includes: Beethoven.com, BoomerRadio.com, SmoothJazz.com, Ultimate-80s.com, mvyradio.com and WARX.com. The network reaches about a half million unique listeners each month.

Last summer Internet radio was saddled with a per song royalty fee that threatened to shut the fledgling technology town. However, out of court settlements have allowed the better organized broadcasters to continue. Shively says the group will not only seek new members into its network, it will also embark on an awareness campaign to increase consumer listening.

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