Glenn Beck looks to be launching local web portals for The Blaze in markets he's off the air

Monday, August 26, 2013 - 11:05am

Radio pundit Glenn Beck is likely looking to launch local market web portals to maintain visibility in markets he recently lost on-air affiliates.

Beck has registered TheBlaze___.com domains for the cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He's also purchased domains for Dallas (his home market, where he's still on the air), and Toledo (another strong market for his on-air show), reports Radio Insight.

Beck has "taken his TheBlaze.com from a news/commentary site into radio streaming, traditional publishing, video, and most recently converting it into a full cable television network," writes the news source.

Our prior coverage of Beck's on-air, online The Blaze network is here.

Pandora sales VP explains local ad strategy to Twin Cities business journal

Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 1:20pm

In local sales efforts, leading webcaster Pandora is positioning itself as the number-two radio station in the Minneapolis market (like it does in several others). Pandora regional VP Gabe Tartaglia discussed some of the webcaster's competitive strategies with Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's John Vomhof.

But it's more than the sheer number of listeners that gives the webcaster a foothold locally, Tartaglia contends. It's its ability to target advertising not by station format, but to the listener herself.  

"We've got over 700,000 listeners in the Minneapolis DMA every month, and every week, if you take a demographic like adults between 25 and 54, we have about 400,000 listeners," Tartaglia, who's based in Chicago, said.

He characterized their ad rates as "pretty competitive," with the big value coming in targetability. Pandora registration requires the listener's age, gender, and ZIP code. This means Pandora can track users across channels.

"So, if a local advertiser wants a very custom geography or wants to reach an exact age or gender, we can provide that exact demographic with 100 percent guaranteed delivery and zero waste," Tartaglia explained.

"Think about it in terms of the individual listener, not the genre of music they're listening to or a particular artist. Most advertisers want the person. They want the consumer who can hopefully become a potential customer," he continued. "So, if a person is listening to a rock station and then changes to a country station, to us, that's one listener and we can still serve the same targeted adds to that person."

Pandora's biggest local categories and clients include automotive (about 10 different local dealers), health care, and education (University of Minnesota, Globe University).

Read the interview in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal here.

Pandora opens local sales office in Boston, but broadcasters say it's not competition

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 12:20pm

Pandora has just opened a local ad sales office in Boston, its 29th after other markets like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Boston's local advertising market is valued at about $15 billion.

But as the leading webcaster looks to tap in to local radio advertising budgets there, some broadcasters maintain that since Pandora isn't "radio," it's not competition to them.

"Pandora doesn’t compete directly with broadcast radio nationally or locally because it’s not radio in the real sense of the word," Clear Channel national sales president Tim Castelli told The Boston Globe.

According to Triton Digital's Webcast Metrics, Pandora's audience places it in, or near, the top 10 in radio in major U.S. markets.

Read more in The Boston Globe here.

Kelly planning local Net radio in other top markets

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 12:35pm

Consultant Tom Kelly (Kelly Music Research) has launched an online radio service called iRadioPhilly, focused on the Philadelphia market and the music he says local broadcasters no longer play.

"In our core business - measuring listeners' reactions to music - we couldn't help but notice some holes in the marketplace," Kelly told the Philadelphia Daily News. "There's no '50s- and '60s-focused terrestrial [broadcast] radio station in Philadelphia, serving the music that was the genesis of '[American] Bandstand.' There's no indie-rock channel. No 24-hour classical station. No 24-hour jazz. Nor a station devoted to vocal standards - the Frank Sinatra, Diana Krall, Michael Buble breed of talents."

The twenty-channel service offers more than just what's missing in local radio (Kelly also has CHR, adult alternative, country, and classic rock channels). And it's hit the ground running with mobile and "set-top box" (Sonos, Roku) apps, a social media presence, even iRadioPhilly merchandise for sale.

And being local goes beyond the music, so iRadioPhilly streams feature the voices of former local on-air talent too (Michael Tearson, Mike Bowe, and Bob Craig). One of the service's twenty channels is Y-Not Radio, the webcast created in 2011 to keep alive the sound of the former Y100 alternative rock station (see more here).

There's also "St. Joseph's University basketball games - and local arts, from high school and community-concert broadcasts to streaming of the big evening shows at the Philadelphia Folk Festival," reports the Daily News.

Kelly says he believes there's a future online for radio that broadcasters think isn't viable on the air. Kelly Music Research has registered "iRadio" domain names for the top 50 markets in the country.

Read more in Philly.com here. "Hat-tip" to Tom Taylor Now for this story.

New iHeartRadio feature adds local news content to Custom Stations

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 12:10pm

Clear Channel today introduced a feature to iHeartRadio that allows listeners to add local news, weather, and traffic content to their "Custom Stations" streams.

The new feature is called "Add-Ins," and uses content from Clear Channel broadcast properties.

"Custom Stations" is the iHeartRadio feature that allows listeners to generate personalized audio streams based on their personal music preferences (a la Pandora).

Once the listener has enabled the feature in Account Settings, "Add-Ins" will automatically pinpoint their location -– or users can set an alternate location by entering a zip code under the manual "Add-Ins" settings.

Radio's local digital revenue grows, but share is still dwarfed by newspaper and TV

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 12:20pm

Borrell Associates, in new research for the RAB, says radio's local digital ad revenues grew 22% in 2012 over the previous year -- slightly higher than the local media average of 20%. This follows news (in RAIN here) that radio's overall digital revenue was up 11%.

However, for the past three years radio has been losing local online market share to newspaper, TV, yellow pages and Internet companies, and radio's share of local online sits at just 2%.

"It looks like quite a few groups are breaking out and challenging their newspaper and TV competitors for a slice of that very large digital pie," said Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell (pictured). He expects online ad revenue to pass $420 million this year for radio.

RAB CEO and president Erica Farber (also pictured) said, "Revenue opportunities continue to grow for those who are pushing the digital limits with online and mobile initiatives." Farber, by the way, will keynote RAIN Summit West April 7 in Las Vegas. Please see more information here.

The new report is called "Benchmarking: Local Radio Stations’ Online Revenues," and is available to RAB members here. The RAB and Gordon Borrell will present the findings with a free webinar Thursday, March 7 (more info here).

Read more in NetNewsCheck here.

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