Radio One's Digital Unit Partners with

Interactive One, the digital arm of Radio One Inc., has announced a five-year, multimillion-dollar partnership with the hip-hop Internet portal The move represents one of the latest drives by Radio One, a Maryland-based company, to snag a significant portion of an ever-growing online audience with a specific cultural demographic. For nearly a decade, has steadily proven itself as a top online destination, and particularly, as an authentic source of hip-hop and urban music and news content.

The deal is expected to create a scalable online advertising network targeting African American consumers. According to Target Market News, the combined traffic of both Interactive One and will give advertisers access to more than 4 million monthly unique visitors and more than 500 million page views.

“What’s unique about this deal, [is that] Interactive One is well positioned to take advantage of a partnership with [],” says Michael Ferguson, an Atlanta-based digital strategy consultant at Brand Star Group. “When you look at the two entities, I think you get the No. 1 hip-hop portal and a media outlet that has the ability to [implement] offline strategies to integrate with an online model.” Ferguson emphasizes this strategy is critical for any media outlet striving to remain competitive in today’s market.

It’s not even enough to look across platforms anymore (i.e. radio, television, print, and Internet) for your audience. Interactive One ramped up the game by targeting a specific segment of the market. “We firmly believe that the future for the African American consumer and those dedicated to communicating with them is in new media, and as such, this relationship extends our commitment to being the online leader in the African American space,” said Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins III in a recent press release.

“This is a new space for everyone,” says Ferguson, who specializes in connecting brands with entertainment properties. “Digital marketing allows you to address consumers in a more precise way through things like behavioral and contextual targeting…Those [elements] allow you to really speak to your consumer and not waste advertising dollars on people who don’t have an affinity for your product or brand.”

The partnership should produce some built-in benefits for both properties, Ferguson says. Instead of creating a new competitor destination for the urban music demographic, Interactive One can rely on the inherent credibility of It’s a value that consumers already trust, he adds. In turn, should see a spike in its advertising revenue coffers based in part on Interactive One’s infrastructure. Interactive One has a dedicated stake in driving traffic toward’s URL.

“The digital space is one of the most important components of any marketing mix that a media outlet can be involved in right now,” Ferguson adds. “From a pure Website/broadband channel perspective, having rich media content makes consumers stick with you when they get to your digital environment. If you don’t have a digital strategy, then you’re not maximizing your marketing resources.”