Radio One Tries to Revive Dated Social Networks

Yesterday evening, Rafat Ali broke the news about Radio One, “the radio network focused on African-American and urban listeners”, acquiring CommunityConnect for $38 million. While nowhere near the massive sum that Bebo was recently acquired for, this is still substantial for a network of sites which are far from their peak.

CommunityConnect owns BlackPlanet.com, MiGente.com and AsianAve.com. While they have over 20 million members, it doesn’t appear that those users are continuing to return. While far from dead, a look at the CommunityConnect portfolio traffic over the past 5 years (see chart below) shows a clear downward trend. This acquisition highlights the importance of social networks for traditional media companies.

As viewership continues its downward cycle for traditional media outlets, companies are realizing that social networks are increasingly a center of media distribution online. This is why News Corp acquired MySpace years ago. While MySpace hasn’t been monetizing as effectively as hoped more recently, the website has still sustained massive growth since their acquisition. My guess is that we will see these acquisitions take place more frequently until all the traditional media outlets have at least one social network in their portfolio.

Community Connect Portfolio Screenshot