Clear Channel to Launch Social Networks

Posted on May 1, 2007

Clear ChannelClear Channel is launching social networks for its radio stations. According to Billboard.biz the social network plan begins with seven radio stations.

The article says several more radio station social networks will be launched in June. Technology for the social networks is being handles by Onesite.com.
The sites will be individually managed by each station but share a common format and architecture. Onesite.com, a provider of social networking technology solutions to third parties, is handling the back-end for the networks. Onesite, a subsidiary of web hosting company Catalog.com Inc., provides similar services to the likes of NBC Universal's iVillage. Evan Harrison, executive VP of Clear Channel and head of its online music and radio unit, sees the local element of the sites as an important differentiator between other social networking destinations.

Not only can Clear Channel monetize the sites with targeted online spots from local advertisers, he says but also people using the networks have a better chance of making lasting connections with other users because they will share more regional affiliations. By contrast other social networks are focused on national and even international audiences.

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Clear Channel plans to drive traffic to the social networks via the "listen Live" Web radio streaming area on the flagship sites of the stations. As part of the initiative, each station that has a social network will introduce a new chat feature in the web radio player that will feature profile pictures of members of the social network who are participating in the chat.

Users will be able to click on the user profiles in the chat area to enter and explore the social network. Stations will also promote the social networks through on-air plugs and special stunts and promotions centered around the sites.

Each social network will have a user experience similar to MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and others offer. Users can create profiles, customize them with HTML codes and widgets, upload photos, music and video, blog, and add friends.
There are going to far too many social networking websites. As the software becomes cheaper social networks will eventually replace online forums and become a regular feature of many websites.