In its latest push to reach African American audiences online, Radio One entered into a partnership with AllHipHop.com that will give its advertisers access to the popular destination for hip-hop news, reviews, and lifestyle reporting.
The five-year, multi-million dollar deal makes the digital arm of Radio One, Interactive One, the exclusive sales agent for AllHipHop.com, while giving that site’s advertisers access to Interactive One’s online “Audience” service, offering advertisers a chance to reach a considerable swath of the African-American market with a single ad buy.
AllHipHop.com, which bills itself as “The World’s Most Dangerous Site,” boasts over 150 million audited impressions and an average of five million visitors per month, according to the company. Radio One, which owns 53 radio stations throughout the U.S. and their Web sites, is the largest operator of radio properties that primarily target the African-American audience. The combined online reach of the two entities exceeds four million monthly unique visitors with more than 500 million page views, according to Radio One.
The partnership with AllHipHop.com is just the latest move by Radio One to boost its African-American reach online. Last month it acquired Community Connect, operator of the largest ethnically oriented social networks including BlackPlanet.com, with over 23 million members and about half a billion hits per month. That deal was valued at $38 million.
“We firmly believe that the future for the African-American consumer and those dedicated to communicating with them is in new media, and as such, this relationship extends our commitment to being the online leader in the African-American space,” said Alfred Liggins III, CEO of Radio One. “Our relationship with AllHipHop.com is another example of our ability to enable blue chip advertisers to reach African-Americans online, whether it is across social networks, online news outlets or digital content providers.”
Indeed, just last month Radio One launched its own news site targeting African-Americans, called NewsOne.com.
But Radio One is not the only company looking to corner the African-American market online. Last month, Barry Diller’s IAC and subsidiary Black Web Enterprises launched the first black-oriented search engine, Rushmoredrive.com. In addition to aggregating sites based on their appeal to black audiences, Rushmore Drive offers news and content.
As it makes its transition to the digital world, Radio One — like another traditional media companies — has had its challenges. In 2007, it reported $330.3 million in net revenue with 59 percent coming from local advertising, 36 percent from national advertising, and the rest from other sources. It also had a net loss of $387 million for the year. Over 18 months, Radio One sold 18 stations in five markets for $150 million and used a large part of the proceeds to pay down debt.
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