Katz360

Summit panelists look at accelerating revenue from ads, subscriptions, and donations

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 12:50pm

Triton Digital president of publisher development Dominick Milano acknowledged that there's a "disconnect" between the unprecedented amount of audio consumption made possible by Internet and mobile technology, and the fact that advertising dollars haven't moved to those platforms in levels reflective of the audience. That "disconnect" served as the premise for the Triton Digital-sponsored "Accelerating Your Revenue" panel, which Milano (at right) moderated, at last month's RAIN Summit West event in Las Vegas.

The panel covered the three principal revenue models for online radio: advertising, premium (or subscription), and listener-supported (i.e. donations).

Katz360 VP of broadcast services and online audio and video sales Dean Mandel suggested one key is the right combination of broadcast radio and online radio -- not only for ad campaigns, but in creating worthwhile listening experiences. He encouraged radio programmers to "take better advantage" of what technology has to offer to improve their online product.

"The programmers are brilliant and if they can come up with interesting content to fill instead of a lot of PSAs and ads, it will help grow the audience," Mandel (left) said.

He said he sees lots of value in what sets local broadcasting apart from national/global database-driven music webcasters: a local brand, personalities, and local content.

Mandel is also a big supporter of targeting advertising, and suggested effective listener-registration helps a lot. His "pro-tip" was for stations to look for online listening happening in markets outside your own that may command higher CPMs (his example was a Charlotte station that might have significant listening in New York City).

He also suggested that media buyers have indeed become sophisticated, and being able to provide them with targeting and third-party tagging on audio will raise CPMs.

Andrew Polsky, as VP of digital media for SBS Interactive, also deals in the advertising world. He says what his company needs is "advocacy" at the agency and buyer level, especially for the Hispanic market.

His company, aside from Hispanic-focused broadcast and online radio, owns MegaTV (video content and network) and SBS Entertainment (which is concert production). Key for him is being able to leverage all the properties as a unified platform, "offering a 360 approach to advertisers," and using content from one property on the others (see his company's LaMusica mobile app as an example).

Polsky (right) seconded Mandel's notion that there needs to be a better solution than "PSAs" to fill long stopsets when streaming broadcast content.

Michael Jackel, who is Spotify VP of West Coast advertising sales, also agreed about the power of being able to target listener groups for advertising (he addressed the perception of his company as a "subscription service," but insisted Spotify is a "dual-model" business with the large majority of its users accessing via free, ad-supported streaming).

Moderator Milano asked Jackel (left) if there were a model for subscription alone to work -- or if services need a free version to remain viable.

"If the value proposition is really there, pure subscription can work," Jackel answered. "Spotify has a great product that's free, but the premium is a great value proposition." He said, in the U.S. especially, people are used to "free," so Spotify's free streaming makes sense. "Pandora isn't winning on the subscription model because there's not that much value to their premium service," Jackel went on. "Few people will pay just to 'not have ads'. You have to offer something that's really compelling in order for people to pay for it."

Compelling content is also key to driving donation revenue for listener-supported stations, like Joe Gallagher's MVYRadio.com. After some background on WMVY-FM and its early foray into streaming (Net Radio Sales, now Katz360 and AndoMedia/Webcast Metrics, now owned by Triton Digital, were both born of these efforts), Gallagher said successful donation support relys on offering content that "serves a niche, serves a vertical" and allows for "a passionate connection" with listeners.

Gallagher is the "#1 volunteer" for Friends of MVYRadio, the non-profit 501(c)3 that runs the (now) Internet-only, listener-supported station (more in RAIN here). He's also president and CEO of Aritaur Communications, former owners of WMVY-FM. He says his listener-supported model has "worked well, really well," and allowed for year-over-year growth for the past four years. The station recently raised the necessary $600k to operate for the rest of the year.

Gallagher (right) explained that listener targeting allows him to (for example) entice donations from L.A.-area listeners by giving away tickets for a concert there.

Milano polled the panel on the likely entrance of Apple into online radio. Katz360's Manel said, "It'll grow the business, it's a good thing. It might make local AM/FM focus more on their local value proposition" -- again, meaning the personalities and local content.

Spotify's Jackel said, "It's good. When (Apple) come(s) in, advertisers and Wall Street will see the value... it lifts the industry, it publicizes other businesses, to consumers AND advertisers."

You can listen to audio coverage of this panel, and all of RAIN Summit West's content, at kurthanson.com (look in the right-hand margin).

Triton Digital CCO and general manager of data and measurement Rob Favre and SVP and general manager of international markets Jay Supovitz will be part of RAIN Summit Europe, May 23 at Brussels' Hotel Bloom. Spotify's Benelux managing director Tom Segers will also be there. Info and registration links are on the RAIN Summit Europe page.

Former Katz360 president Benedik takes ad sales post at Spotify

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 12:05pm

Radio Ink reports today the former Katz360 president Brian Benedik (right) has joined subscription music service Spotify as VP/North America Ad Sales. He'll be based in New York.

Benedik left Katz 360 in September (RAIN coverage here). Radio Ink's coverage today is here.

Spotify will be represented at RAIN Summit West April 7 in Las Vegas by VP/West Coast Ad Sales Michael Jackel. He and Katz360 VP/Sales Dean Mandel will both take part in the "Jump Start Your Revenue" panel (more here).

Expert insight into growing your streaming audience AND revenue at RAIN Summit West

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 1:10pm

Edison Research co-founder and president Larry Rosin will pull "double duty" at RAIN Summit West, coming up April 7 in Las Vegas.

First, Rosin (top right) will join Arbitron SVP/Marketing Bill Rose (left) -- creating the tandem of "Rose 'n Rosin" -- to present the newest installment of their firms' annual joint-study "The Infinite Dial," examining technology adoption among radio listeners. It'll be the first of two presentations of valuable new research at RAIN Summit.

Rosin will also moderate our "Accelerating Your Audience Growth" panel (which we announced here), to investigate ways to increase listening for your webcast. The other pros joining the talk include The Echo Nest's Jim Lucchese, Rachna Bhasin from SiriusXm Radio, consultant/research expert Alan Burns, Pandora's Chris Martin, and Steve Jones from ABC Radio News.

After addressing audience growth, it'll be time to discuss how to "Jump Start Your Revenue," with a panel moderated by Triton Digital President of Publisher Development Dominick Milano (first announced here).

Michael Jackel, who's VP/West Coast Advertising Sales for leading music subscription service Spotify, will join the panel. Jackel (lower right) is a veteran of audio and digital media sales, with experience at Clear Channel Digital / iHeartRadio, Clear Channel radio and digital sales in L.A., and Katz Radio Group on both coasts. Dean Mandel is VP/Sales for Katz360, and manages digital sales efforts for more than 500 seller in various Katz Media Group divisions. Mandel (lower left) will also join the conversation, to discuss vital revenue strategies for Internet radio.

RAIN Summit West is Sunday, April 7 in Las Vegas. The annual full-day Internet radio conference is a co-located education program of the NAB Show. Now in its 12th year, the Summit focuses on the intersection of radio and the Internet. Keynoting the even will be RAB president and CEO Erica Farber (more in RAIN here) and Rhapsody International president Jon Irwin (more here). Register today (and save 20% when you use the discount code in the RAIN daily e-mail, to which you can subscribe here), via the RAIN Summit West page.

Katz360's ad exec Mandel defends the tried-and-true "GRP" for a multi-platform world

Friday, May 18, 2012 - 11:00am

Katz360 exec Dean Mandel takes to the blog today to suggest that the tried-and-true "GRP" (gross ratings point, or 1% of a market's population) is still very useful as a "common currency" in a multiplatform video and audio world.

Online display and search are purely "online" media (and thus it makes sense to use the more recently-developed digital metrics for them). But audio and video consumers can watch TV, listen to radio, watch on a tablet, or listen on a PC or mobile device, Mandel explains. Advertisers can reach a listener or a viewer on many different devices -- thus a common metric is helpful.

Mandel argues to use the newer digital-based metrics "to add value to the GRPs for the digital portion of a video or audio buy." A seller can "add any digital engagement metrics, completion rates, click through rates etc...to add value to their platform's GRP. Now the buyer can take that information and decide that these digital GRPs indeed have additional value because of these metrics."

Read Mandel's blog post here.

Top sales vets see geo-targeting, local campaigns as keys to better monetizing growing audience

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - 12:20pm

SNL Kagan senior analyst Robin Flynn moderated the day's second panel at our recent RAIN Summit West event in Las Vegas. Flynn reported on the discussion, called "Charting Digital Audio Ad Dollars," as well as other content from the Summit, in the SNL Kagan blog "Economics of Internet Media."

While online radio usage is growing across the board, operators are faced with the challenge of better monetizing that listening, especially on mobile devices (where the ad market is less mature).

"Currently, Internet radio CPMs are in the range of $3 to $6 for nontargeted ads and higher for geo-targeted ads," said panelist Alexis van de Wyer, who's president of AdsWizz. Pandora SVP/ad sales Steven Kritzman said ads that include a video element fetch $20 CPMs. (Kritzman also mentioned that Pandora enjoys an 80% renewal rate among ad clients.) Katz360 President Brian Benedik told the panel geo-targeted advertising can boost Internet radio CPMs to the $6 to $12 range and higher.

In fact, the prevailing sense was that Internet radio's growing power at reaching truly local audiences (see Pandora) is what will truly be the game-changer in monetizing listening.

"Local CPMs at $8 to $10 are tastier than the $3 to $5 network CPMs for online platforms," Pandora's Kritzman said. Jon Mitchell, Spotify's vice president for U.S. ad sales, also on the panel, said advertisers can purchase local campaigns for as little as $500 to $1,000.

Read Flynn's entire article here. There's more on our recent RAIN Summit here; and look for more coverage (including video) of the event soon. Jennifer Lane has additional coverage in Audio4Cast here.

Abundance of streaming ad inventory keeping CPM growth low

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 12:30pm

Digital ad revenue"It's a buyer's market for many ad categories" when it comes to streaming ads, reports Inside Radio. The publication reports streaming CPMs are flat or marginally rising, probably due to an "abundance of inventory... advertiser demand has yet to catch up." Katz360 president Brian Benedik says CPMs range from $3-5 for national/network ads to as high as $15 for hyper-targeted ads.

Diana Anderson, VP of ad buyer Carat, tells Inside Radio, "There is duplication among the audio aggregators and we have found that we can use fewer partners and leverage our spending for better pricing."

Benedik recommends reducing the in-stream spotload to help increase CPMs (which would also improve the listening experience). Radio One digital VP Dan Shelley is considering doing just that, though the idea is only "in the contemplation phase."

You can subscribe to Inside Radio's daily newsletters here. Katz360's Brian Benedik will be a panelist in our discussion about digital advertising at RAIN Summit West 2012 (more info here).

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