Capital Radio goes interactive

The commercial radio group has scooped the first UK online partnership with major record labels – including BMG, Universal, EMI-Chrysalis-Virgin and Jive – representing 65% of the £1.2bn industry.

Finance director and chartered accountant Keith Greenhalgh described the deal, unveiled last week, as ‘a major coup’ and the key to the success of the online service. It will give the group non-exclusive internet rights to the record companies’ music.

He said: ‘The deal took nine months to secure and is built on our 25 year relationship with the industry.’

Capital has pumped around £6m into its new media division and its #5.5m internet business plan is based on three niche ‘narrowcast’ internet stations that will launch in the autumn and tailor music and advertising to listener profiles.

The group’s online brand, Kikido, will be expanded later in the year with the introduction of a service based on artificial intelligence technology that gives listeners a complete personalised service.

Capital aims to secure two and a half per cent of the online advertising market, which analysts predict will grow to £800m by 2003. Revamped versions of the existing Capital Gold and Capital FM sites are due to go live next week.

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