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At IAB NewFronts, Urban One Says It Reaches Black America ‘In Culturally Relevant Spaces.’


Urban One’s iOne Digital business was among the companies that got in front of advertisers, virtually, on Monday for the digital-focused IAB NewFronts, a four-day series of presentations highlighting new content, talent, and advertising opportunities across digital video. In a pre-recorded presentation featuring multiple company execs, the digital unit highlighted the depth and breadth of its content across lifestyle, sports, and entertainment.


Cathy Hughes started Radio One more than 40 years ago “to give our people a voice,” CEO Alfred Liggins explained at the top of the presentation. “As their needs and concerns constantly evolve, we are committed to the Black community and will continue to be a catalytic force in media.”


The digital platform of the minority-owned media company develops “content and experiences that showcase a multitude of Black stories and storytellers from all walks of life,” added Jeff Meza, Executive VP, Head of Branded Entertainment & Integrated Marketing, One Solution. The content and experiences it creates span 64 local radio stations, located in high Black population centers, reaching 17 million listeners monthly; another 35 million are touched by syndicator Reach Media; television networks TV One and Cleo TV reach more than 89 million homes. And iOne Digital connects with more than 49 million unique users. “Urban one reaches 80% of Black America every month providing brand partners with unparalleled cross-platform reach, influence, and access to the Black community,” Meza said.


This year the digital media outlet is “placing big bets” on video, podcast, data, research, and insights, according to Tiffany Nasralla, Chief Revenue Officer, iOne Digital. It has invested more than ever before in video and now racks up 150 million monthly video views and expects to hit 200 million by the end of 2023. The digital division’s data and insights division, known as One Community, takes what it has learned about its audience’s behavior, along with custom data segments and profiles, “to uncover actionable insights about our audience and the evolving attitudes, needs and trends in Black culture.” Nasralla explained.


The mantra of iOne Digital is, “Before you sell to me, you should know me.”


As Audrey Cochran, VP of Research at TV One Networks explained: “The Black community is not a monolith. It's ever changing. It's imperative to truly understand the beautiful complexities of the Black experience.”


In addition to understanding the nuances and differences across the nation’s 40.1 million Black Americans, it’s important for marketers to reach them where they are. “To effectively connect with this audience, passive engagement isn't going to translate to impactful growth,” added Cochran. “You have to be intentional and in culturally relevant spaces where your audiences are. You have to go beyond the surface to drive meaningful connections.”

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