Standard, Shearer give tips to Iceberg

Iceberg Media.com, a Web broadcaster that's built its business almost entirely through word of mouth, is hoping to pump up the volume with advertisers and listeners alike, thanks to an investment from Standard Broadcasting and the addition of media marketing veteran...

Iceberg Media.com, a Web broadcaster that’s built its business almost entirely through word of mouth, is hoping to pump up the volume with advertisers and listeners alike, thanks to an investment from Standard Broadcasting and the addition of media marketing veteran Jeff Shearer.

Last month, Standard bought a stake in the Toronto-based Internet radio broadcaster, making it an equal partner with Dartmouth, N.S.-based Newfoundland Capital Corporation. A few days later, Shearer, a director of Totum Media Marketing, was tapped to be the operation’s senior marketing advisor. He’ll divide his time between the two companies.

Since its inception as the Virtually Canadian Broadcast Network in 1997, Iceberg’s business model has been built on viral marketing, says Ted Boyd, Iceberg Media president and COO. And while Iceberg will continue to employ grassroots tactics such as on-site promotions and Webcasting of events to build its audience, the Standard deal represents an opportunity to promote the brand on a national basis, using traditional radio advertising. Combined, Standard and New Cap represent a network of more than 35 radio stations, reaching almost one-quarter of Canadians over 12.

‘The notion that one can be a completely standalone Web business has been challenged in the last 12 to 18 months,’ says Boyd. ‘To have established partners in the broadcast sector is critical.’

The deal with Standard provides Iceberg with a national sales presence and the potential for content sharing. In return, Iceberg provides Standard with access to the elusive 18 to 34 demographic.

Iceberg caters to ‘disenfranchised’ radio listeners between the ages of 12 and 34 through its online audio and video programming. The Web broadcaster operates five branded Internet properties: 1groove.com, a dance and club music channel, 2kool4radio.com, an alternative rock station, primeticket.net, a live concert channel and ticket centre, Deeper, a youth-oriented e-zine, and the Ill Noiz Network, which features hip-hop and urban roots music.

Shearer, who has been charged with strengthening the Iceberg name and brands among both advertisers and listeners, says he intends to entrench Iceberg as the market leader – ‘selling and marketing and educating on the whole medium, not just on Iceberg.

‘We have to help media buyers better understand the phenomenon of streaming media and how they should be buying it. It’s not the same as radio or television – it’s closer to specialty TV than radio has ever been able to do.’