Available on radio station websites in Astral’s NRJ and Virgin Radio networks, as well as on mobile devices, the service offers consumers access to a library of music videos and exclusive content such as artist interviews and new release album previews, as well as the ability to customize playlists, nominate songs for on-air play and share their music preferences with friends via Facebook.
Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music, Universal Music and several independent labels have partnered with Astral Radio to provide audio and video content to the on-demand service.
“The on-demand player was created to build a symbiotic experience between the on-air and digital platforms for our consumers,” said Rob Farina, executive vice-president, content for Astral Radio. “It’s really building on that music-discovery benefit that we serve to consumers.”
The service also promises opportunities for advertisers, who can sponsor various content segments, such as an “artist of the month” section and specialized web radio channels. Sponsors can showcase their brands via wallpaper and big-box advertisements, logo placement and audio and video pre-roll creative.
“I hesitate to say that the advertising will be ‘on-demand’ also, but clearly the imagination can be opened up and we’ll be listening to ideas and initiatives that advertisers want to look into,” said Mario Cecchini, senior vice-president, sales and marketing for Astral Radio.
A marketing campaign promoting the online service is set to launch mid-February, with pop performer Katy Perry serving as spokesperson in a series of radio, cinema and online ads developed in-house by Astral.
The service launched yesterday and will, according to Farina, evolve quickly based on user feedback.