Industry rank: 2
2004 revenue: $2.1 billion
Parent company: Viacom
Online strategy: To create another distribution vehicle so its terrestrial stations can be heard in places they otherwise couldn't, such as urban office buildings. Infinity will begin streaming one genre at a time, starting with news and news/talk. It created a sales staff to sell online and in-stream advertising. The company tested the streaming market in December with CBS-AM New York and by February Web-site visitors increased 144% over the same month a year ago.
What the Street thinks: Jim Goss, analyst at Barrington Research, said it's wise of Infinity to launch streaming with talk and news/talk, which is mostly proprietary content. He said: "It's best when you can leverage the talk content you've already paid to develop."
Number of stations: 1,200
Industry rank: 1
2004 revenue: $3.8 billion
Parent company: Clear Channel Communications
Online strategy: To extend Clear Channel's radio brands across other media and create a platform for national advertising. Hired Evan Harrison away from AOL Music last November to create a companywide online infrastructure; later this month Mr. Harrison will release initial plans, which include offering online videos and Web-exclusive programming. Currently 1,000 of Clear Channel's stations have Web sites, which attract 10 million people a month, according to Media Metrics.
What the Street thinks: "Taking an existing radio station and streaming it on the Web... who cares?" said Jason Helfstein, analyst at CIBC World Markets. What's interesting, he said, is creating unique programming just for the Web.