ESPN To Launch Radio Station Web Sites

ESPN will create Web sites for radio stations in New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles.

Among the features of this ESPN online network are local and national radio streams and podcasts, constantly updated scores and news, an interactive calendar specific to each city, and online polls. The sites will coordinate content and programming with ESPNRadio.com.

The move follows several years of increasing interest in the Internet as a radio medium. Beginning in 2005, Clear Channel Radio re-launched Web sites for most of its radio stations, with new features including a service called "Stripped" where performers visit Clear Channel studios to deliver in-studio exclusive performances.

In April 2006, the Clear Channel site network also began offering music videos on demand from its multi-volume library of over 5,000. Last week, the Radio Advertising Effectiveness Lab released the results of a study documenting the effects of interactions between radio and Internet advertising on overall ad effectiveness.

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Among its findings: the Internet is often used simultaneously with radio, and together the two media reach 83% of the population on a daily basis. In April of 2006, RAEL released another study of radio delivered via Internet called "The Infinite Dial," which found that since 2005 "the weekly Internet radio audience has increased 50%. Twelve percent of the U.S. audience age 12+ has listened to Internet radio in the last week." Further, it stated: "Nineteen percent of persons ages 18-34 have listened to Internet radio in the last week."

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