Called Bacardi B-Live, the initiative is expected to extend the brand's association with music beyond regular events. It will launch in the U.K. next month and roll out internationally throughout the year.
Access to the station is theoretically available only to consumers above the local legal drinking age -- to sign up, consumers must enter their date of birth and country of residence. Bacardi is aiming for 300,000 registered listeners within three months of the launch.
Bacardi B-Live will broadcast exclusive content through the Internet and directly onto third-generation compatible cellphone handsets. Adam Dewhurst, the project's global talent director, has commissioned exclusive mixes from DJs and producers around the world.
John Burke, Bacardi's global brand director, said, "Thanks to developments in mobile and 3G handset technology it is possible for brands to take their music properties beyond clubs and festival fields."
B-Live will be cross-promoted through Bacardi's existing music events, which will be streamed through the new online radio station. There will also be digital and viral advertising.
Bacardi has built up a strong reputation for hosting premium branded events around the world. Mr. Dewhurst said, "Bacardi has always worked with credible people and steered away from the corporate end of dance music."
Three tiers of DJs
For the new radio station, Mr. Dewhurst has identified three tiers of DJs and producers to contribute exclusive mixes. The first tier is made up of worldwide big-name DJs like Dmitri from Paris; the second tier is internationally known underground talents such as Sumo from Sweden and the Unabombers; the third is made up of popular local DJs.
The station will initially broadcast only one platform throughout the world. However, Mr. Dewhurst added, "Further down the line there may be other platforms. U.S. music is more focused on hip hop and rock -- some of this is accommodated within the existing platform, but there may be opportunities to create new platforms further down the line." Video content is another route that is being discussed for the future.