Heavy Gets Into Radio

Young-male destination Heavy.com is going offline. The Web site is launching a terrestrial radio program in a bid for expanded reach.
Sumosonic is a retooled show from one offered by Heavy online. The new version is hosted by Guns n’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus, and features interviews and tracks from new artists.
Heavy is making the show available on its Web site, which draws 1.9 million U.S. visitors in July, according to Nielsen Online. It has also struck a deal with radio programming distributor Team Clermont that will enable the show to reach millions more by airing on 900 college and independent radio stations.
“It’s great reach,” said Simon Assad, co-CEO of Heavy. “It’s nice for us as a digital brand to go into the offline space. It’s the right target market. It felt like a good idea for us.”
Sumosonic existed on Heavy as a playlist of new music, which the site also distributed via CDs. The company decided to relaunch the feature as more of a traditional radio show with a host and interviews. Beginning in January, it will be available on Heavy’s site through a new streaming music player, according to Assad.
The added reach helped Heavy snag Levi’s as an initial advertiser for the first three episodes. Sumosonic will air once a month.
Levi’s will get prominent mention by Fortus as sponsor of the programming, which will air without traditional commercial breaks. The programming is meant to invoke the theme of Levi’s current campaign, “Go forth,” which celebrates America’s pioneering spirit. Levi’s digital shop Razorfish made the buy.
Heavy is a longtime competitor in the hunt for young-male attention online, battling sites like Break, College Humor and UGO.

Nielsen Business Media