Urban One is not only launching a new podcast network. The company that targets African Americans is also relaunching its iONE Digital brand following its recent rebranding from Interactive One. The digital media division says it plans to “integrate and maximize synergies” across its digital portfolio of publishing brands which focus on men's and women's lifestyle, sports, beauty, fashion, entertainment and other interests.
The company also says it is taking a "video first" approach for the new Urban One Podcast Network, which includes the true crime series Fatal Attraction, The Amanda Seales Show, Backstory With Colby Colb, Adult’Hood, and on-demand versions of several of its syndicated radio shows.
“As the needs and concerns constantly evolve, we are dedicated to helping brands understand, connect, and best translate to Black and Brown communities. In our next iteration, iONE Digital will continue to be a catalytic force in media,” CEO Alfred Liggins said in the announcement.
Urban One says iONE Digital currently reaches 24 million unique monthly visitors and that its relaunch “brings a fresh perspective and bold storytelling serving the needs of a diverse audience while continuing to illuminate Black voices.” Among the division’s online publications are Cassius, HelloBeautiful, MadameNoire, Bossip, NewsOne, GlobalGrind, HipHopWired, BlackAmericaWeb and Elev8. In addition to publishing brands, iONE Digital is home to BlackPlanet, a social network targeting urban millennials, and three YouTube brands: The Fumble, Hollyscoop, and Nerdwire.
In its new iteration, the digital arm of Urban One says it is focused on “representing Black truth,” by illuminating Black voices through innovative storytelling and experiences. To do that it says it is “passing the mic” and “turning the conversation into a block party” where everyone is invited.
“We are unapologetic in our desire to ensure that our stories are told from an accurate perspective," said Jeff Meza, Senior VP, Head of Integrated Marketing & Strategic Partnerships. "As we are not a monolith, our stories are as diverse and layered as we all are. Change is welcomed and necessary always for growth, and this new rebrand only furthers our commitment to continue elevation and excellence."
This month Urban One announced the launch of the Urban One Podcast Network. The move expands on the radio broadcaster’s audio portfolio as it looks to connect with listeners of color and broaden its appeal to advertisers who want to connect with the Black community. The Urban One Podcast Network launched with ten original shows as well as programs that are produced in partnerships with other Black-owned podcasts and networks. That gives it a launch pad of 1.5 million downloads per month, and the company says it will add additional original shows and partnerships.