RealTime IT News

SpikeRadio Targets Youth Worldwide

Spike Networks Ltd., the first global Internet media group to base itself on the Hollywood studio, this week launched Spike Internet Radio Inc., the world's first 24/7 Internet radio station targeting youth worldwide.

"The Internet is a nation unto itself. Youth is its natural citizenship. Spike intends to be its national broadcaster," said C. Chris O'Hanlon, CEO of Spike Networks Limited.

Spike Networks, which recently relocated its headquarters to Los Angeles from Australia, originated as a strategic Internet services company before evolving into Asia-Pacific's leading Internet media company. This visibility in the marketplace has created such a following in the region's business and investment communities, that when the company listed on the Australian stock exchange last week, it was so heavily oversubscribed that the company had to scale back general public applications.

Beginning August 1, listeners from around the world can tune into Spike Radio to hear aggressive original programming, stocked with an attitude-laden mix of music, news and chat. Melding streaming audio and video over the Internet, the network is re-engineering the traditional broadcast radio format to create an international forum with unlimited opportunities for constant, live interaction with its audience.

Revenue will be derived primarily through advertising, sponsorships and eventually e-commerce in such areas as concerts, tickets and merchandising.

Appealing to what the company terms a "virtual nation," SpikeRadio will deliver stylized content from the international worlds of visual arts, politics, fashion, adventure sports and technology as well as news and information on social and environmental issues. To tailor content for geographic relevancy, local news and issues will be covered through collaboration with a network of community or public access radio stations around the world. Further enhancing its universal appeal and content, SpikeRadio's on-air personalities will represent a wide range of nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.

"From both consumer and advertiser points of view, broadcast radio as we know it is dying," O'Hanlon said. "The youth market is now an international culture immersed in a digital lifestyle and the Internet is the only way to reach them logistically and intellectually. Plus, advertisers realize Internet radio not only offers continuous, targeted access to this culture, but it also will prove to be an extremely efficient way to segment the audience for more strategic marketing efforts."

According to Ashley Farr, SpikeRadio's CEO, several major U.S., Japanese, European and Australian companies are already on board with Spike and are considering yearlong advertising commitments.

Unlike traditional radio organizations that receive revenues based on audience size, SpikeRadio plans to sign up advertisers on a monthly or annual basis regardless of the number of listeners which, by company estimates, total 2.5 million.

The company will eventually provide advertisers with online database management systems that capture user data including stated and inferred user preferences and enable advertisers to interact directly and immediately with its users.