SplashCast chosen for Entercom's social network marketing

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Entercom Communications Corporation, a US-based radio broadcasting group, has tapped SplashCast, an emerging media content syndication service, for its social network marketing efforts.

SplashCast microchannels, which are virtual, interactive, embeddable TVs, will be available on the Web sites of 70 of Entercom's radio stations. The first to launch is Z104 in Norfolk, VA.

“This will enable radio stations to reach their audience not just on radio but on social networks and do it in a way that's more compelling to consumers,” said Michael Berkley, CEO of SplashCast, “The value for stations is to maintain the connection to their audience locally — where it's getting harder and harder to do that today — when there's so many media offerings online.”

Stations will create original content like DJ video blogs, artist interviews and concert clips. Users will be able to hear a live stream of the station's audio content and also can embed the players into social networking site profiles such as MySpace, Facebook and Bebo.

Companies can advertise through branded players, five-second loading animation or display ads. Stations also can partner with marketers for an interactive, branded sweepstakes or game within the player.

Berkley said this is an especially important opportunity for local advertisers.

“The value for the content owner is that it isn't simply distribution but also data they get back from social networks,” he said. “These are consumers raising their hands and installing the players so we get demographic information on each user that puts the player on their page.

“Media companies are all scratching their heads trying to figure out how to engage with this difficult and elusive audience in the [social networking] channel,” Berkley said. “Radio has a foundation in streaming audio, and now they're using other content like videos to engage consumers. We provide the channel to aggregate those components into one package and that makes it compelling for stations and the user as well.”

SplashCast also works with traditional broadcasters and music companies including NBC, Fox, Sony and Warner Brothers to extend content into social networks.

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