Local content hubs earned top rankings in January, according to comScore

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Issue Date: 
Mar 12 2012 - 11:35am

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CBS Radio's Philadelphia web portalCBS Radio has found success with its 30 local web portals: comScore ranked them as some of the top local websites online in January. Now the broadcaster plans to take what it's learned and remake its music radio station websites.

CBS began launching local website hubs in 2010, aggregating content from local TV stations, sports radio stations and talk/news stations (RAIN coverage here; see an example portal for Philadelphia here).

"While some radio companies are doubling down on streaming or daily deals, CBS has opted for a more diversified digital business model," writes Inside Radio. "The diversification strategy is paying off."

In January, the network ranked first in Time Spent among regional local media sites, according to comScore. CBS' portals also ranked second in page views, fifth in unique visitosr and visits. "The rankings are especially noteworthy in light of the fact that CBS Local operates in just 30 markets compared to many of its competitors [AOL Patch, MSN Local, Yelp, Yahoo Local and CityGrid], which operate in as many as 150-200 markets," observes Inside Radio.

CBS says unique visitors grew 43% last year ("the fastest growth in our entire peer group," according to CEO Les Moonves). The local hubs are also generating new revenue for CBS, tapping into daily deals, online directories, ecommerce, affinity clubs, performance advertising and other services. "There are real dollars we’re going to start seeing," said Moonves.

CBS Radio's 97.1 new website

Now CBS is "taking a lot of the best practices and strategies we learned... from CBS Local Digital Media and applying them to the music business," according to CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz. Specifically, its music radio station websites.

CBS moved its music radio stations to the Local Digital Media division in December, away from CBS Interactive Music Group. Last week CBS began rennovating its music radio station websites -- starting with CHR stations -- looking to add a unified design, social media integration, video, improved advertising and tie-ins with Last.fm, Local Offers and Metro Lyrics.

Inside Radio points to 97.1 KAMP (here and pictured left) as an example of the new website design: archived video interviews, embedded Twitter feeds and easy access to either buy songs recently played on-air or build custom Last.fm stations.

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