Global Radio finally living up to their name..?

Two pieces of news yesterday finally cemented Global Radio’s ambitions.

First, they announced “an unprecedented long term partnership” with News International – creating a range of partnerships. The UK Press Gazette reports

Capital Breakfast will partner with The Sun
Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast will be presented in partnership with The Times and The Sunday Times
Heart’s Club Classics on Friday evenings with The Sun and Fabulous Magazine
LBC 97.3 will run special features, news round-ups and advertorials with The Times and The Sunday Times
The Big Top 40, the chart show syndicated across various stations UK-wide on Sunday afternoons, will feature Sun advertorial features.

They also announced a “new media opportunity” with Clear Channel Media in the US to create the Official World Premiere across Global Radio and Clearchannel airtime and advertising assets across the UK, Europe and the USA.

According to Radio Today

Ashley Tabor, Founder & Executive President of Global Radio said: “This is an unprecedented partnership between Clear Channel and Global Radio. The combined worldwide reach of over 150 million people, as well as the innovation of combining radio & digital outdoor, together with the geographical spread of this initiative, is truly eye watering. We’re delighted to be partnering with Madonna and Universal music for the very first ‘Official World Premiere’ today.”

This is pretty clever strategically for Global on both counts.

With the NI deal, there’s a tie up with a huge publisher, giving a tie in with the editorial power of a huge newspaper group. I’m guessing the showbiz-loving Sun will happily be featuring the sort of content that Global breakfast shows will be talking about, and featuring stories about Global’s huge events. I’m sure there’s no compulsion to do this – but an alignment like this certainly won’t harm either if them. One wonders how impartial reporting of Rajar day stories will be – but I’m sure the benefits will outweigh the challenges.

With the Clear Channel deal – the benefits are far more rooted in music partnerships. The recent Official World Premiere of the new Madonna track tied up the Capital Fm Network, Clear Channel’s Radio stations and billboard sites. The event trended worldwide on Twitter – driving traffic back to Capital and helping build the Madonna Brand. I’m guessing this will be sold to various labels to promote their content – 150 Million potential consumers is not to be sniffed at. And I’m guessing that if Global wanted to use it to promote any of their acts – they’d get a good deal..

I’m wondering though if the CC deal will go further. Both Global and Clear Channel operate music events for their stations. Capital has the Jingle Bell Ball whilst New York’s Z100 has the Jingle Ball. In the future, will huge headliners be tied into the type of partnership deal – whereby Rihanna or Jay-Z or similar artists headline both events over one weekend in two continents? An extreme idea – but with lots of possibilities.

The challenge for radio is to constantly come up with new ideas. Global are doing this with new strategic commercial partnerships – that could ultimately create exciting and unique new content partnerships. This must ultimately be good news for all radio brands.

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