Inside Radio

Top-notch coverage of yesterday's RAIN Summit

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 12:40pm

After we recover from the rush of yesterday's successful RAIN Summit Orlando event (and today's iTunes Radio launch), we'll get cracking on our own coverage of the Summit. In the meantime, our colleagues at news sources like Tom Taylor Now, Inside Radio, Radio Ink, and AllAccess were at the event, and all have published coverage of their own.

One of yesterday's most compelling Summit panel discussions addressed the contentious issue of online "simulcasting" versus the use of ad-insertion technology (Taylor, Inside Radio, and Radio Ink all led their coverage with it). The panel consisted of Saga's Steve Goldstein, Triton Digital's Mike Agovino, OMD's Natalie Swed Stone, AdsWizz's Alexis Van de Wyer, and Greater Media's Tom Bender.

The speakers on the panel -- broadcasters included -- acknowledged the attraction of customizable pureplay webcasts with few (or no) commericals, and agreed that broadcasters need to offer more than "an extension of the tower."

At least as "buzz-worthy," judging by the coverage, was Entercom president and CEO David Field's keynote address. A few contentious points may have been expected, what with a broadcast group head keynoting such a conference. Field, as you can read, insisted that the audio consumption "pie is growing," and that's for broadcast radio too. More controversially, he challenged the veracity of Pandora's self-described 7% share of overall U.S. radio listening, and contended that the webcaster's granular ad-targeting actually makes them a less efficient advertising vehicle. He says radio gets the "bonus weight" of delivering ad messages to non-targeted demos.

A research presentation from GroupM Next caught industry journalists' attention -- notably their finding that nearly half of Pandora and iHeartRadio users say they plan to switch to Apple's iTunes Radio product when it launches today -- even before testing it. Also making news was the strong the desire for a "connected-dashboard" car among younger demos. Newly-appointed RAIN managing editor Brad Hill moderated a discussion panel on this very topic. Read his coverage of "The Race to the Dashboard" here.

Also, please see our coverage of the 2013 RAIN Internet Radio Awards here.

Thanks to our colleagues for their coverage of RAIN Summit Orlando. Read more from Tom Taylor Now here, Radio Ink here and here, in AllAccess here, and at InsideRadio.com here.

Streaming audio still hotter with listeners than with marketers, and that's an opportunity, says Forrester report

Monday, August 12, 2013 - 1:00pm

A new Forrester Research report touts "in-stream audio" as a powerful and still under-utilized advertising vehicle. Report author Anthony Mullen encourages marketers to take advantage of the "unique user experience, targeted reach, and guaranteed impressions" that services like Internet radio afford.

The growing popularity of mobile usage actually enhances this advantage. Display ads won't work as well on mobile's small screen, but an audio ad delivered to a mobile device (and through headphones) is (at least) as functional as through computer speakers. Even more, audio ads come one at a time, and avoid the cluttering of visual advertising.

Internet radio (and other ad-supported online audio) fell victim to being neither a purely traditional nor purely digital medium -- and often didn't get a share of campaign budgets divvied up in this way. As such, even today, advertising growth hasn't kept pace with consumers' embrace of the medium, and the full opportunity for markets remains unmet.

The report, called "In-Stream Audio Advertising," describes the maturing of the ad-delivery technology segment, including ad exchanged and real-time bidding platforms.

Inside Radio, which covered the report, wrote: "The Forrester report may not break any new ground in the minds of broadcasters. But as an objective research firm coming to many of the same conclusions as radio has presented to advertisers, it’s sure to help convince some brands to take a second look at in-stream audio ads."

Report author Anthony Mullen blogged about the report here. Purchase the report here, and read Inside Radio's coverage here.

Inside Radio looks at "tangled" state of online radio ad sales

Monday, June 3, 2013 - 11:40am

Inside Radio today has an extensive piece on the "tangle" of Internet radio advertising sales.

"Different vendors often touch the same stream and multiple third parties pitch the same ad inventory to buyers," Inside Radio writes. "Increasingly, broadcasters are installing filters and scheduling rules to help untangle the digital ad web for traffic departments and buyers." What's more, companies like TuneIn and AdsWizz themselves will run ads in the streams they aggregate (and those ads could be coming from rep firms like Dial Global or Katz360, which may also be repping the original streams in the first place!). Broadcasters move inventory from vendor to vendor. Webcasters often get less revenue (as more "middle men" are part of the process), and it's harder to make sure listeners aren't getting overloaded by repeated airing of the same ads or campaigns.

"We’ve created a big mess for buyers," Eric Ronning, EVP and chief digital revenue officer at rep firm AdLarge, told the news source. "We’ve unintentionally created a trick welcome mat."

Subscribers can read more at InsideRadio.com.

Arbitron reportedly to relax rules for online "simulcast" streams

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 11:50am

Arbitron will reportedly relax some of its terms under which a broadcaster's online stream can be considered a "simulcast."

Until now, Arbitron would consider a station's stream a "simulcast" only if it were 100% identical to the on-air broadcast -- content, ads, everything needed to be the same (and aired at the same time) on the stream as was aired on AM or FM. This means a station stream that substitutes on-air commercials with "online-only" ads, public service messages, promos, or other content, in the stream is not a "simulcast" -- and thus its streaming audience cannot be combined with its on-air audience for ratings purposes.

Beginning in May, the ratings company will allow a "simulcast" broadcast to substitute ads to streaming listeners outside the station's metro area with different ads from the same advertiser. All other content outside of commercials must remain 100% identical.

This change allows stations to "fulfill an advertiser's request that locally advertised specials not be heard outside the local market yet still qualify to receive Total Line Reporting," Inside Radio reports today. Radio can add its digital listening towards its total audience numbers, as well as sell combined on-air/online ad campaigns even for advertisers who want to restrict specific messaging to within the metro.

Inside Radio writes that some broadcasters say McDonald's and Subway directed stations to remove certain spots from their streams for this very reason.

Paragon consultant Mike Henry wrote of many mid- and smaller-sized broadcasters moving towards fully-simulcasting (that is, not changing ads for streaming) because of its inherent advantages. He blogged, "This shift is interesting because it pits the streaming strategy of major groups such as CBS and Clear Channel in one camp, and the mid-sized and smaller groups in another camp. The majors are apparently betting on a streaming sales future, while the other groups are retrenching behind towers and their broadcast sales."

Read more in today's Inside Radio (subscribe here) and from Paragon here.

Great RAIN Summit West coverage in industry trades

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 2:15pm

Over the next few days, we'll be recapping the panels and presentations from the RAIN Summit West conference in Las Vegas on Sunday right here in RAIN, as well as archived audio of the entire day's content from TuneIn and Backbone Networks. Today we want to point out some of the fine coverage of the event in these other industry news sources:

Tom Taylor Now (which was a media sponsor of the event) has excellent summaries of the Summit's first segment in its early Monday morning edition here.  

Inside Radio published extensive, front-to-back coverage of the Summit on Monday morning as well, here.

All Access also went wall-to-wall with keynote, panel, and presentation summaries here.

RadioInfo has coverage today too, here.

Thanks to all these news sources for their coverage of RAIN Summit West.

Inside Radio: Automated ad buying could drive up demand and CPMs for Net radio

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 12:20pm

In January we reported Triton Digital announced its a2x "programmatic buying" solution for streaming audio ads (here), and the launch of Xaxis Radio -- a "digital trading desk" -- on the agency side (here).

Today Inside Radio predicts automated auction buying to grow and help generate revenue for online radio.

"As more shops and broadcasters take a seat at the exchange, multiple buyers would bid against each other for the same audience impressions, driving up demand and tapping into digital budgets. The goal for broadcasters is to extract higher costs per thousands (CPMs)," reads the Inside Radio coverage.

Earlier this month, CBS Radio became the first major service to sign on to Triton Digital's a2x service (press release here).

"It's opening up the door to whole new budgets that we haven't touched before," says CBS Local Digital Media president Ezra Kucharz. "There are certain advertisers that are only going to buy this way in the future."

Inside Radio points to automated buying first in paid search advertising, then in digital display, as the trend.

"Now that executives who rose through the ranks from digital are in charge of planning and buying all media at Universal McCann, Starcom USA and Zenith," watch for automated buying to increase.

There's more on a2x from Triton Digital here.

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