Playbill-like publication to extend brand, tap target aud

This summer, Clear Channel Communications will give its ever-expanding radio and concert network another push with an ad-sponsored music magazine to be distributed at its radio events and concerts in more than 30 markets across the country.

Music Guide Live! will not be unlike the Playbills given out at theater performances: small-size pages that will share advertising with info on artists and performances.

The mag is the radio conglom’s second venture in publishing; a similar minimag tied to sports events will reach 70 markets this summer. The music mag’s content is tied to the event at which it is distribbed, in one of five different music genres including rock, country and urban.

“The reasoning behind this is to extend the brands of our radio stations into the marketplace,” said Jay Freedman, VP of tactical marketing at Clear Channel Collective Merchandising, a division of the radio operation.

Another reason is tapping the elusive music audience, Freedman said. “A lot of companies are out trying to target the true music-buying public, and a lot of times it’s hard to define who they are. At the concerts, you have the loyal listeners of the radio stations as well as the audiences that attend the amphitheaters.”

For now the magazine will be published twice over the summer. Advertisers include American Express Co., XM Radio, Heineken and Tommy Hilfiger.

Music Guide Live! also fits in with Clear Channel’s increasingly aggressive cross-platform marketing efforts, and its attempts to lure advertisers away from traditional advertising forms.

“It’s a cross-promotional opportunity and allows them to take advantage of the opportunity they have with their touring productions,” said James Goss, media and entertainment analyst with Barrington Research Associates, who said the magazine would not generate significant revenue. “It’s more to leverage their ability to be at concerts with their product.”

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