Astral gets some NRJ from France

A new content partnership between two mega radio nets offers new promotional opps and exclusive-to-Quebec access to international music programs and events.

The largest radio broadcaster in Quebec is partnering with the biggest radio broadcasting group in France to share content and develop new promotional opportunities. As part of the new agreement, Astral Media Radio’s Énergie network has license to launch the NRJ worldwide brand in Quebec as of next month, and will be renaming its 10 radio stations NRJ.

While Énergie’s radio positioning, shows and on-air personalities will continue within the new NRJ network, the move gives Astral Radio Media Quebec exclusive access to NRJ content, including live acoustic studio sets, album release interviews and special music-driven segments and programming, as well as promo opps through NRJ’s annual Music Awards show.

‘NRJ has about 17 million listeners every day and represents 14 markets including Germany, France, Lebanon, Russia,’ André Lallier, VP of programming at Astral Media Radio Quebec, tells MiC. ‘That gives [NRJ] a certain power play with the music content that we don’t really have here in Quebec.’

‘NRJ has great notoriety in Quebec, and both NRJ and Énergie reach the same target (18 to 34),’ Lallier explains. ‘The image of NRJ in Europe, in France particularly, is very close to the value of our brand in Quebec, so the opportunity to change our visual branding without changing our name was a good thing for us…The brand image is very powerful and will enable advertisers to explore new creative paths and air fresh, wild, unorthodox concepts.’

‘We can now build promotions with international access,’ Chloé Boissonnault, communications and marketing director at Astral Media Radio, tells MiC, citing exclusive access to shows, concerts and events featuring Green Day, U2 and the Black Eyed Peas. ‘We’re going to have exclusive access for the Quebec market to events in Europe, so we can send people over there to the NRJ Music Awards, and we’ll have many program exclusives with that very huge event in Europe, so our sponsors, too, can get involved and sponsor the interviews for the Quebec market.’

In Montreal, Astral Radio Media’s Énergie 94.3 currently reaches 1,422,000 listeners a week, according to BBM Canada Radio Meter (Infosys, March 2 – May 31 2009), and 829,600 across the rest of the province, according to BBM Canada Radio Diary (S4 2008).

Last January, Astral Media Radio launched the first Virgin station in Quebec, its third in Canada, with the transformation of Mix96 to Virgin Radio 96.