Today’s announcement that CBS RADIO has entered into an agreement to “power” Yahoo’s Launchcast Internet radio portal in a deal similar to the one they announced with AOL Radio earlier this year definitely takes the cake. As David Goodman, President of Digital Media at CBS RADIO states in the press release, “this announcement along with our relationship with Last.fm, and other distribution partnerships, reinforces our Company’s position as the No.1 internet radio company in the world”. No doubt about that.
CBS RADIO has made significant investments in Internet radio. In the past year they aquired Last FM, and added AOL Radio and Yahoo’s Launchcast listeners to their group through agreements to manage their sales while putting CBS RADIO stations as channels on their platforms. Prior to deals with CBS RADIO, Yahoo Launchcast and AOL Radio ranked first and second independantly on Arbitron’s monthly survey. In recent surveys, with Last FM and AOL Radio already incorporated into their numbers, CBS RADIO had more than 2.2 million for a weekly cume, and Yahoo Launchcast had over a million weekly listeners. Their combined weekly cume should climb to over 3 million.
As they become the major player, CBS RADIO will have significant clout to impact and influence some of the as yet undefined issues in the space, such as audience measurement. CBS RADIO has a partnership with Ando Media and uses their audience measurement tool along with many of their other ad related technologies. They also subscribe to Arbitron’s comScore audience measurement surveys. It remains to be seen whether they will they see the value in supporting two separate measurement products for the industry or look to create a standard measurement tool.
This announcement does more than just reinforce CBS RADIO’s position in the space. It demonstrates that they mean business. A very big media company is making very big investments in the space – that’s meaningful to investors as well as advertisers, and good for the industry.