27 November 2015
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This week’s egtabite showcases Chameleon – a multimedia entertainment portal created by the leading radio broadcasters of Russia and Turkey. Chameleon brings something completely new to the Russian radio landscape, featuring a unique blend of radio heritage, video and editorial content in a slick and attractive platform that adapts responsively to work on the screen of any connected device.


The initiative is a co-creation by the Russian broadcaster Europa Media Group (EMG) and Turkey’s Karnaval Media Group, both of which are the top private radio operators in their respective countries, as well as members of egta. Chameleon is built on the technology platform of, which has proved very successful in Turkey, helping the company grow from the third largest radio broadcaster to the number one spot in less than three years, according to Ali Abhary, the company’s CEO.

By entering into a strategic partnership, rather than building a platform from scratch, EMG significantly reduced the time required to bring this innovative entertainment experience to market.

Radio ... and beyond!

At its core, Chameleon is a true radio product. It brings together EMG’s six terrestrial stations with a further seven pureplay radio streams, all of which have human hosts, thus covering a spectrum of genres from electronic to classical music under a single umbrella brand.

Visitors, however, have much more than audio alone to explore. The portal’s second strand – Chameleon TV – broadcasts exclusive video programming created by EMG for the platform. The third stream consists of a large selection of editorial content, featuring articles, picture galleries and videos. In addition, Chameleon’s news partner RBC supplies economic and political news.

This rich experience is designed to enhance the value proposition for EMG’s radio listeners by offering additional content in line with their interests, whilst also generating new traffic. Chameleon unlocks radio’s potential across mobile and social. It includes an interface for easy in-car station switching as well as apps for smartphones, tablets and Smart TVs. This presence on connected devices offers EMG greater access to digital advertising revenues.

An enhanced advertising proposition

Chameleon is an ad-funded platform, and it is financed under a digital revenue-sharing agreement between EMG and Karnaval Media Group. The platform takes advantage of digital advertising’s possibilities, including audio, mobile, Smart TV and targeting.

Russia’s digital advertising market is growing, whilst traditional media – such as radio – face significant headwinds. The creation of Chameleon allows EMG to tap into this market; the broadcaster aims to attract up to nine million unique daily visitors within three years, and the project is expected to become financially self-sufficient in its fourth year of operation.

egta asked Ekaterina Tikhomirova, President of Europa Media Group, about what the Chameleon project means for the broadcaster’s advertising proposition.

egta: What advantages does Chameleon offer in terms of additional advertising revenues, and how do you see the platform’s different functionalities being used by marketers?

ET: Chameleon offers a wide range of advertising opportunities.Clients have access to all forms of online media advertising, with the most recent technologies and targeting capabilities (inclusive of targeting by location, socio-demographics, behaviour, screen resolution, operating system, browsers etc.), as well as mobile advertising, advertising on Smart TV and so on.

egta: Are there particular advertiser categories that are not currently big radio clients but that you expect will be attracted to Chameleon?

ET: Digital audio advertising, video advertising, content-driven projects, media advertising and special projects: all of these capabilities that Chameleon can offer are interesting to any advertiser. Therefore, we are able to extend from the spectrum of traditional broadcast radio advertisers (the top five being automotive, medical, retail, real estate/construction and banking/finance) to categories such as FMCG, entertainment, online games and many others.

egta: You chose Karnaval Media Group as your strategic partner for this initiative: what was it about Karnaval that drove this decision?

ET: When preparing our own digital strategy, we called on international experience and searched for examples of successful implementations and executions of digital approaches, particularly by radio groups. And as a result, we decided to make a partnership agreement with the Turkish company Karnaval, because their model – in our opinion – has the best potential for success on the Russian market. Why did we decide not to copy their platform, but rather partner for a long-term licence agreement? The point is that the development of such a project from scratch using our own resources would have taken two years, according to our estimations. The cooperation with Karnaval gave us an opportunity to leverage their experience and to be able to immediately use a technology platform that had already been developed.

Why this matters for egta members?

Digital is a great opportunity for radio, but unlocking the potential of audio, mobile and social working together can be a complex conundrum to solve. The growth of Karnaval Media Group in recent years suggests that this approach – a coherent, multimedia hub built on smart technology, compelling content and strong radio expertise – stands a great chance of success in other markets, such as Russia.

Chameleon also demonstrates the efficiencies that can be achieved when broadcasters from different markets combine forces to develop new products – the very philosophy that drives egta members as they share experience and look for common solutions to the challenges they face!

Target: Radio
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