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The rationale for CC's move online is obvious: growth in the radio industry has slowed way down, while Internet ad sales for the year are expected to hit $11 billion, a 30% jump over 2004.
CLEAR CHANNEL LOGS ON, GOES AFTER YAHOO AND AOL MUSIC
The 900-Pound Gorilla Puts Its Game Face On, Determined to Grab a Chunk of the Internet Advertising Pot of Gold
Clear Channel is preparing to enter the Internet music wars, taking on presently dominant players AOL Music and Yahoo. CC’s first original concert series will kick off in May on the radio giant’s 1,000-plus station-affiliated websites, sources told the N.Y. Daily News.

The series, which will go by the name Stripped, will turn the virtual spotlight on top-selling artists, mimicking Sessions at AOL and AOL Music Live. That’s hardly surprising, considering CC poached AOL Music trendsetter Evan Harrison in order to put itself on the virtual map.

Already confirmed for Stripped are John Legend (who gained significant early exposure as a Breaker artist on AOL Music), Gavin DeGraw and Jesse McCartney.

CC has also landed Rob Thomas, who has a solo album coming. "Clear Channel is the biggest radio chain and already has a built-in audience," Thomas' manager, Michael Lippman, explained.

According to the same sources, the acts will not be paid to appear, the performances will be live, the production will be no frills (Stripped—get it?) and there will be commercials—CC’s plan is to hook up with a national advertiser for each show, plus a local one in each station’s market.

The rationale for the company’s move online is obvious: growth in the radio industry has slowed way down, while Internet ad sales for the year are expected to hit $11 billion, a 30% jump over 2004.

According to the News, Harrison hasn’t wasted any time assimilating his new outfit’s aggro mindset. From now on, CC will no longer promote AOL or other music sites on its stations.

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