Russian and Turkish radio groups partner to create Chameleon, Russian online radio portal

chameleon homepage

The Russian listening market has a new webcast destination, a radio aggregation portal called Chameleon, co-created by Russian broadcast company EMG (European Media Group) and Karnaval, the largest broadcast/online radio site in Turkey.

The launch packages 13 radio brands — EMG’s six broadcast stations plus seven pureplay radio streams. All these stations are human hosted and provide a traditional radio listening experience. The six broadcast brands are Europa Plus, Retro FM, Dorozhnoe Radio, Radio 7 on seven hills, Sport FM, and Radio for Friends.

We tested the site this morning, drilling into several stations, and found flawless streaming performance.

Karnaval’s participation in the Chameleon venture contributes platform technology and the consumer-facing design and usability strategy. Indeed, Chameleon resembles Karnaval — not in specific design elements, but in station presentation and surrounding content such as news, video, and social content. Chameleon is self-described as “a multi-platform entertainment platform.” Karnaval also brings mobile and smart-TV apps into the formula.

A digital revenue-sharing agreement powers the deal’s finances; Chameleon is an ad-supported business.

“We are very excited to partner with EMG to launch Chameleon,” said Karnaval CEO Ali Abhary. “The Karnaval model for the digital engagement of radio audiences has already proven to be a winning formula in Turkey. We believe that the Chameleon umbrella-brand strategy — led by EMG’s leading assets, including Europa Plus — will bring substantial growth and upside opportunity for EMG to take advantage of the growth in the digital ad market in Russia.”

For EMG, the key driver is extending into digital and mobile while retaining core broadcast strengths. “As a radio station group, we recognize the importance of digital, social and most importantly mobile in the daily lives of our listeners,” noted Ekaterina Tikhomirova, EMG’s CEO. “In creating Chameleon, we wanted to transcend beyond the confines of audio-only services — and establish an umbrella brand that is truly a digital-first proposition, but one that leverages our audio expertise, without forgetting our radio roots.”

Brad Hill